Jermichael Finley seemed likely to be the big name to be cut by the Packers if they cut anyone, but instead it is starting safety Charles Woodson who is gone. Woodson was Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 but had to move from corner to safety due to his loss of speed. Woodson still has solid ball-hawking skills but Morgan Burnett has proven he has the skills to lead the Green Bay secondary.
Cutting Charles Woodson is a surprising but smart move by Ted Thompson for a few reasons. Firstly, Jerron McMillian has shown the talent to start in the near future and Green Bay can go with McMillian and Burnett. The Packers also now have the cap space to go after one of the many big name free agent safeties that could be available. Houston’s Glover Quin is a possibility as Morgan Burnett could slide back to free safety with Quin at strong safety.
Secondly, Woodson’s release opens up some cap space for future long-term contracts for big names like Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews, and BJ Raji. Woodson also opens up some cap room for re-signing Sam Shields who has become one of the NFL’s most underrated cornerbacks. This move could also be a sign that the Packers are going to try to re-sign Greg Jennings or franchise tag him.
So, will Charles Woodson be the only big name Packer to be cut? Jermichael Finley shouldn’t be breathing a huge sigh of relief just yet while A.J. Hawk might also have reason to be a tad nervous with his deal.
It will be very interesting to see what moves Ted Thompson makes over the next couple of weeks before free agency.