Green Bay Packers: 15 best free agent acquisitions of all-time

Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams, Green Bay Packers. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams, Green Bay Packers. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) /
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Charles Woodson, Green Bay Packers
Charles Woodson, Green Bay Packers. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

49. . CB/S. (2006-12). Charles Woodson. 3. player

Best free agent acquisitions in Green Bay Packers history: 3. Charles Woodson

Charles Woodson had absolutely zero interest in playing for the Packers entering 2006 NFL free agency. It seemed that the former Heisman Trophy winning defensive back with the Michigan Wolverines had played his best ball up to that point.

Though a four-time Pro Bowler with the Oakland Raiders, some suggested Woodson was washed up after spending his first eight seasons with the Silver and Black. He had yet to make a Pro Bowl since his fourth season in the league in 2001.

Let’s not forget that Woodson wanted to play his ninth year in the league and beyond in Florida. Teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were more intriguing free agency landing spots for Woodson in his mind. However, his agent thought the best fit for him was in Green Bay. That turned out to be true.

Woodson would experience a career renaissance playing with the Packers. He signed a massive seven-year deal worth $52.7 million to play for The Pack. In those seven seasons in Green Bay, Woodson made four trips to the Pro Bowl, four All-Pro teams, won NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 and was an instrumental piece in the Packers’ 2010 championship defense.

Woodson played out of his mind for the 2010 Packers during their playoff run. Green Bay made it into the NFC playoffs as a Wild Card team and exited them as Super Bowl champions. Without Woodson as the star in the Packers’ defensive backfield, Green Bay probably doesn’t beat Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV.

After playing out his seven-year contract with the Packers, Woodson would go back to Oakland to play out his final three years of his certain Pro Football Hall of Fame career. Woodson would make it to his ninth and final Pro Bowl in his last year as a pro by playing safety as a 39-year-old in 2015. To make a Pro Bowl playing a new position at that stage of his career is a testament to his greatness as a playmaker in the secondary.

Woodson will almost certainly be a first ballot Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee in the Class of 2021. Though he was arguably a hall of fame player based on his 11 years with the Raiders alone, Woodson’s seven-year stretch with the Packers turned him from borderline into a lock. Woodson is the best free agent signing the Packers have made in the 21st century, without question.