After winning nine of the last 11 games of the regular season, the Green Bay Packers were able to bounce back from a disappointing start to the season in which the team lost three of the first five games.
The Packers were back on track and ready to make another run at a Super Bowl title. Green Bay’s defense wasn’t as intimidating as years past, but it was formidable enough to go the distance in the NFL playoffs.
One of the main reasons for the team’s struggles defensively throughout the regular season was the absence of veteran safety Charles Woodson. The three-time All-Pro suffered a broken collarbone in the win over the St. Louis Rams back in Week 7 and didn’t return until the first game of the postseason against the division rival Minnesota Vikings.
Although Woodson missed nearly half the season with the collarbone injury, the team still considers him to be a vital piece to the puzzle in the Packers’ secondary. Woodson is due $10 million in the final year of his contract next season and there has been some debate whether or not the Packers will ask him to consider a pay cut to stay in Green Bay.
One-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers believes Woodson needs to be retain via Bob Wolfley of the Journal Sentinel:
“I know he is under contract and that he is an important part of our football team,” Rodgers said about Woodson. “I think he adds a lot. He is still playing at a really high level. He’s very intelligent and sets a good example in preparation. He’s always watching film. He did a great job, especially, with guys like Sam Shields and Tramon (Williams), a couple of years back. He kind of took them under his wing. Now Tramon is carrying on that tradition. . . . Having his presence around the locker room really helps, setting an example for the young guys. It helps me out, as far as being the leader.”
With the Packers organization having to make some difficult decisions during the off-season, the team will be looking to save money and is already let it be known that the franchise is willing to let veteran wide receivers Greg Jennings and Donald Driver walk in free agency.
Both Jennings and Driver have come to grips with this fact and are ready to move on. Green Bay is one of the teams in the league that isn’t partial to handing out big contracts and Woodson may become the next victim of the Packers looking to cut corners to save money.