When a star player of Charles Woodson’s caliber gets on the market, rumors swarm about which teams will sign him.
Although he was only released two days ago by the Green Bay Packers, those rumors have indeed been flying around. At this point, we know for sure that Woodson will only sign with a contender. He is also due $9 million next year, and $10 million against the cap.
Here are the teams with the strongest rumors connected to Woodson:
New England Patriots
They do have a number of key free agents to re-sign first, though, including Wes Welker, Aqib Talib and Sebastian Vollmer.
But the Patriots have also been linked to another aging star, safety Ed Reed. Reed has even openly admitted that he could definitely play for head coach Bill Belichick. The Patriots are rumored to be in a race to sign one of these players first, but it is conceivable they could sign both.
The Patriots are notorious for taking on aging stars who appear on the decline, only to resurrect their careers. The most notable of this case is Randy Moss.
The 36-year-old Woodson could be the next big-name veteran the Patriots sign. Woodson would certainly be playing for a contender, as well as filling a priority need for New England.
This one is a bit controversial, as the Seattle Seahawks may not be bona fide contenders yet.
But they emerged this season as a young, hungry team led by rookie quarterback Russell Wilson. In Wilson’s first season, the Seahawks won a playoff game and established themselves as a quick, hard-hitting team that plays tough defense.
Woodson definitely fits that mold.
After Woodson's release, Richard Sherman, one of those hard-hitting defenders on the Seahawks, immediately tweeted in support of Woodson joining the “L.O.B.” (Legion of Boom), so he’s clearly on their radar.
The Seahawks have a lot of cap room to make big additions to the team. Even more, Woodson has roots with the Seahawks. Sherman’s agent, Kevin Poston, is brothers with Woodson’s agent, Carl Poston. Also, Seattle GM John Schneider used to work in the Packers’ front office. That kind of connection with a team can have a huge influence on a player’s decision, and Woodson signing with the Seahawks is not so implausible anymore.
The Seahawks have the money to acquire talent to make them serious contenders for the next couple years, and the addition of Woodson could help them achieve just that.
Woodson has also already been linked with rumors to the team, which is always a positive sign toward a player signing with the respective franchise. The Broncos also have $18.5 million in cap space this offseason. Considering Manning is 36, they will want to do as much as possible to help the MVP runner-up win right now.
The Broncos have also been linked with Dwight Freeney, Manning’s former teammate. His signing would eat up much of the cap space that could be spent on Woodson.
Although the Broncos ranked near the top in the league in many defensive categories, they ranked 15th in passing touchdowns allowed. Woodson’s veteran presence will help shore up a defensive backfield and help prevent the big play. Ask any Bronco fan about the name Jacoby Jones and they’ll understand.
In the end, Denver is serious about winning right now, and expect the rumors to heat up about Woodson potentially signing with this team, as well as the other two mentioned.