A social media post from TwentyFour Wines, which is owned by Green Bay Packers defensive back Charles Woodson, hints that the 36 year old safety's time in Green Bay may have come to a close.
Thank you Green Bay it was a great run! twitter.com/TwentyFourWine…
— Rick Ruiz (@TwentyFourWines) February 15, 2013
Whether Woodson has been released or retired is unclear, but it would appear that release is the more likely scenario. After the Packers' playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers, Woodson indicated that he still intended to play in 2013.
With a salary cap figure in excess of $9 million due in 2013 and $10 million in 2014, it was probably inevitable that some sort of money-saving move was made by the Packers for a player who is no longer athletic as he once was.
The only question was probably whether the Packers would ask Woodson to restructure his contract or release him. There has been no indication that Woodson has either been offered or declined a restructured contract.
Even under a restructured contract, Woodson likely still would have commanded several million dollars, and that may have been a figure the Packers were not willing to play for a player whose speed and skills are in decline.
The question now is, what the Packers do at the safety position? Morgan Burnett seems to have one job in his grasp and under control, but the other candidates for a starting job currently on the roster are M.D. Jennings and Jerron McMillian.
Both Jennings and McMillian have potential, but neither has proven themself to the point that they're the unquestioned starter of the future at safety in Green Bay.
Perhaps the Packers could target a safety in the NFL Draft in April. Another possibility is 2012 undrafted rookie Sean Richardson, but after undergoing neck surgery in the offseason, his future playing football is no given.
There is little doubt that Casey Hayward will remain in the slot cornerback role he took over from Woodson late this past season.
Woodson is a probable Pro Football Hall of Fame and was the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year in 2009.
He's been a postseason captain for the Packers for the past several seasons and will be remembered for his inspiring speeches to the team during their 2010 Super Bowl run.
One more report from Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network...
Carl Poston, Charles Woodson's agent, tells me: "They're getting ready to release him. It's part of the business."
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 15, 2013
Cheesehead TV will have more on Charles Woodson as it becomes available.