Category Archives: Charles Woodson

24

April

Clay Matthews Is Not Worth His Contract

Last week Clay Matthews III signed a new 5-year extension with the Packers that made him the highest paid linebacker in the history of the NFL.  The press release announced that Matthews was awarded a $66 million extension that averages $13.2 million yearly, which just barely eclipses Dallas Cowboy outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware’s 2009 extension that averaged $13 million yearly. However, as the title has mentioned I personally don’t feel that the contract signed by Matthews is worth it.  Furthermore, I’m a little surprised that so many Packers fans are okay with the deal.

What Packers fans should be doing is jumping up and down with joy.

For all intents and purposes, the Packers just got away with “grand theft Matthews”.  While initially it looks like Matthews was rewarded handsomely for his services and now can claim to be the highest paid linebacker in NFL history, if you dive deeper into the structure of the deal, it’s pretty obvious that general manager Ted Thompson and lead contract negotiator Russ Ball really got the better end of the bargain.

Point 1 – Look at the guaranteed money: Most football fans recognize that they should take the value of a contract with a grain of salt.   Case in point, Donovan McNabb showed exactly how an agent and team can cook the numbers in order to make a terrible contract look like a spectacular one.  McNabb’s extension with the Redskins in 2010 was first reported to be worth $70 million ($40 million guaranteed) with escalators pushing it to $85 million.  However, as it ultimately turned out, most of the guaranteed money was “not likely to be earned” (as I recall it involved McNabb’s field goal percentage and winning the Super Bowl every year), which in essence meant that McNabb’s actual guaranteed money was worth a piddling $3.5 million if he wasn’t on the Redskins roster past 2010 (naturally he was traded to the Minnesota Vikings before the end of the season).  Perhaps the most important point I want to make is that a team’s true interest in a player is best represented by the amount of guaranteed money they offer; players almost always don’t see all the money in their contract and can only count on seeing their guaranteed money.

27

March

Is Michael Huff the Answer to Green Bay’s Safety Needs?

free agent safety Michael Huff

Huff will visit with the Packers later this week. If signed, he would add a veteran presence to a young Green Bay defensive backfield

It is being reported that free agent safety Michael Huff has a visit scheduled with the Green Bay Packers later this week.  Huff has previously spent all of his seven seasons in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders, who selected him with the seventh overall pick in the 2006 draft (just two spots after the Packers selected linebacker A.J. Hawk).

Huff has already met with the Dallas Cowboys and keep in mind that he grew up in Texas and starred with the Longhorns during his college days.  But Dallas has salary cap issues and can’t sign Huff right now.  He is also scheduled to meet with the defending champion Baltimore Ravens this week.  Huff recently turned 30, which in NFL terms is when players tend to gain the “aging” moniker.  If signed by the Packers, he would bring some experience to a secondary that just got a lot younger with the departure of long-time veteran Charles Woodson.

Currently, the Packers have Morgan Burnett, M.D. Jennings, Jerron McMillian and Sean Richardson as true safeties on their roster.  If you count the 2010 season that Burnett missed most of due to injury, that’s a combined eight years worth of experience.  They certainly have enough men, but do they lack some savvy with such a green group at the safety position?  If so, is Huff the answer?

Let’s take a look at a little Packers history first.  Prior to the 2006 season, Green Bay general manager Ted Thompson was gearing up for the team’s first season under his new head coach, Mike McCarthy.  Ted was still working with some of the leftovers from the Mike Sherman era and needed to turn around a team that had finished 4-12 the year prior.

The team needed defensive help but more so, they needed leadership.  At the time, Woodson was a free agent after spending his first eight seasons with the Raiders.  The Raiders weren’t interested in bringing him back and he was getting next to no interest on the open market.  Woodson was 29 years old, coming off of an injury and there were concerns about his ability to play at a high level again.  Woodson had a few offers, but none near what he was looking for.  Thompson entered the fray and was the highest bidder.

28

February

2013 Packers Position Group Analysis: Safety

Morgan Burnett

Burnett returns as a leader of both the safety group as well as the Packers team as a whole in 2013

Packers Safeties:  One of the youngest groups on the current Green Bay Packers roster, this is a position that is expected to take a big step forward in 2013.  The team will be without long-time veteran Charles Woodson and will rely on Morgan Burnett to assume that leadership role.  Third-year player M.D. Jennings joins second-year player Jerron McMillian opposite Burnett with Sean Richardson likely in the fold as well.

For expanded coverage of this topic, listen to the podcast using the player below or download the podcast from the Packers Talk Radio Network on Itunes.

Where are we now:

Here are the current suspects:

Morgan Burnett (3rd round)

M.D. Jennings (UDFA)

Jerron McMillian (4th round)

Sean Richardson (UDFA)

Burnett was a steady rock for the Packers in 2012, playing in all 16 regular season games and both playoff games.  After missing most of his rookie season of 2010 and being hampered by a hand injury in 2011, Burnett showed that he can be counted on and durable enough to play a full season.  His play improved both in coverage and run support.  The assumption is that he will continue that trend in 2013 and become one of the defensive leaders on this team.

Jennings platooned with the rookie McMillian opposite Burnett after Woodson went down.  He doesn’t have blazing speed but he has a knack for sticking his nose into the play and is not afraid to get after the ball.  He scored the team’s first interception return for a touchdown and had seemingly sealed a tough road win at Seattle before. . well, we all know that story by now.  Jennings will certainly be a part of the team’s plans at safety in 2013 in one capacity or another.  He is also a contributor on special teams so I fully expect him on the 2013 roster.  For an undrafted free agent, Jennings has, at the very least, matched the expectations he had when he was brought in.  He is trending upward and should continue on the path to exceeding them if he can stay healthy.

18

February

2013 Green Bay Packers: The Youth Movement is Underway

Ryan Pickett

Pickett is currently the oldest player on the Packers roster at 33

Since the Green Bay Packers’ 2012 season ended, the team has lost three of their oldest veterans in that of Donald Driver (37, retired), Jeff Saturday (37, retired) and Charles Woodson (36, released).  That makes defensive lineman Ryan Pickett their oldest player at 33 and the only veteran on the current roster with 10 or more years of experience.

It’s impossible to say what the team’s average age will be come the end of this year’s training camp, but it is clear that the team is headed for a youth movement for the next year or two.

The Packers being one of the league’s youngest teams is nothing new to most of us who will recall that from 2006 – 2009, they were the NFL’s youngest.  In 2011, the Packers were third youngest and in 2012 they were fifth youngest roster in the league.  In 2013, the Packers will be strong contenders for the “youngest” label once again.

Here is a list of players , courtesy of ESPN, that were on the roster during the 2012 season.  I don’t expect the team to bring running backs Cedric Benson nor Ryan Grant back in 2013.  That leaves John Kuhn as the only player currently 30 years old or more.  Several players are set to turn 30 this year; AJ Hawk, Aaron Rodgers, Tramon Williams and Greg Jennings.

Jennings is almost certainly not going to return.  There has been some talk that the team could decide to part ways with Hawk.  Aaron Rodgers is as good as set in stone for the Packers and, if Jennings departs, becomes the team’s fourth oldest player.  Williams is expected back but will surely face competition this offseason to keep his starting cornerback slot.

The team could turn to free agency to fill some of the voids left by departed players and in need areas.  It’s hard to say whether they would get after a younger player that they hope will be around for a while or if they might take a chance on another player of Saturday’s caliber to shore up a position that is still a year or two away from being set.

15

February

Packers News: Team set to release Charles Woodson

Charles Woodson

Charles Woodson

Charles Woodson may have played his last down as a member of the Green Bay Packers.

Woodson has had an illustrious NFL career up to this point. After winning the Heisman Trophy and being drafted No. 4 overall in the 1998 NFL Draft, Woodson spent seven seasons in Oakland before signing with the Packers.

The Packers and Woodson agreed to a seven-year, $52-million contract on April 26, 2006.

After the best season of his professional career in which he recorded nine interceptions and three touchdowns, Woodson was named the AP Defensive Player of the Year in 2009.

But Woodson has been on the decline athletically the past few seasons, and he missed nine games in 2012 due to a broken collarbone. Per Ian Rapaport of NFL Network, the team is now prepared to cut ties with the 36-year-old defensive back.

According to Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal- Sentinel, “Woodson was due a base salary of $6.5 million with a roster bonus of $2.5 million the first day of training camp” in 2013.

Prior to breaking his collarbone against the St. Louis Rams, Woodson was used as a hybrid safety/cornerback. With Woodson out of the lineup, rookie Jerron McMillian and second-year player M.D. Jennings filled Woodson’s duties at safety. Rookie Casey Hayward took over as the team’s slot cornerback, emerging as a key playmaker on Green Bay’s defense.

It’s unknown as to whether or not Woodson refused to take a pay cut, or if the Packers simply decided to sever ties with the veteran.

By the time Woodson returned to the lineup, Hayward had a firm hold on the team’s slot cornerback position. Hayward figures to have an expanded role with the defense next season. The team could be in the market for another young safety to compete with McMillian and Jennings for playing time.

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Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s AllGBP.com. Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.

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11

February

Charles Woodson: 2012 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

Charles Woodson

Charles Woodson

1) Introduction:  Packers S Charles Woodson was moved to safety in the team’s base 3-4 defense.  A broken collarbone injury at St. Louis on October 21st forced Woodson to miss the rest of the regular season.  He did not return until the Packers’ Wild Card matchup against the Minnesota Vikings.

2) Profile:

Charles C. Woodson

  • Age: 36
  • Born: 10/07/1976
  • Height: 6’01″
  • Weight: 200
  • College: Michigan
  • Rookie Year: 1998
  • NFL Experience: 15 years

Career Stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season: The Packers wanted to extend Woodson’s career and make him more effective in the defense by moving him from cornerback to safety.  They also hoped that he could help develop some of the younger defensive backs as well as be disruptive in run support and in the team’s blitz packages.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Woodson’s best performance came against the Chicago Bears in week 2 when he posted two quarterback hurries and five tackles.  Woodson’s worst performance unfortunately came in Green Bay’s most important game of the season, the Divisional playoffs, when he was largely ineffective against Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers offense.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success:  Woodson’s biggest contribution this season came off the field.  Due to his injury, he was largely ineffective in his play but he has continued to be a vital piece of the Packers locker room and was undoubtedly helpful in developing the team’s young defensive backs.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Woodson had eight tackles in the team’s two playoff games.  He was largely ineffective in the team’s season-ending loss to the 49ers

Season Report Card:

(C-) Level of expectations met during the season

(C-) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(D) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade: C-

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Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on "AllGreenBayPackers.com

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23

January

Packers Stock Report: End of Season, Full Roster Edition

CB Tramon Williams and S Morgan Burnett fight for an interception against the Saints

Packers CB Tramon Williams found himself in the falling category. Safety Morgan Burnett was steady.

The Packers end of season, full roster stock report is upon us. Below are over 2,300 words of insight, analysis, opinions and nonsense about every player currently on the Packers roster.

Read closely and enjoy, because many of these players likely won’t be around in 2013.

I incorporated each player’s performance from this season, and their future outlook while categorizing. Please agree or disagree in the comments.

As always, thanks for reading the weekly stock reports. Onto the last one:

Rising

Aaron Rodgers
It wasn’t as great as his MVP campaign, but it was still damn good. With chaos and injuries swirling all around, Rodgers kept the Packers offense moving forward and limited mistakes. A fine all-around performance and no reason to think it won’t continue in 2013.

Randall Cobb
With Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson hobbled most of the season, Cobb broke out and turned into the Packers most dangerous weapon. I worry a little about his durability, but his production when healthy was great. Oh, and he needs to drop fewer passes.

DuJuan Harris
Is this too much praise for the 5-foot-7, 210-pound rolling ball of butcher knives? Maybe. But if I’m buying Harris stock, I want in right now. I think he’s going to stick with the Packers and get a chance to make some noise.

Casey Hayward
Lost in the disastrous playoff loss and grumbling about the Packers lack of physicality was Hayward’s dynamic rookie season. I don’t care if the read-option sticks or not, stopping the pass will still be a defense’s top priority and Hayward can do it.

Sam Shields
He’s on the rise now. Will he remain on the rise if the Packers pay him? Or will he morph back into the timid and non-aggressive cornerback of 2011? There’s no denying his raw talent, and I’d like to see him develop that talent as a member of the Packers.

Clay Matthews
Microsoft. Apple. TRowe Price. Fidelity. With the contract that Matthews will get from the Packers, he’ll be able to buy all the stock he wants.

Nick Perry
How can a guy who was hurt most of the season land in this category? The same way Matthews landed in the rising category when he was injured. The Packers can’t afford another season with Erik Walden as the primary outside linebacker opposite Matthews. Perry is rising by default.