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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Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

2. player. 49. . S/PR. (1960-71). Willie Wood

Best free agent acquisitions in Green Bay Packers history: 2. Willie Wood

Willie Wood is the first of two Pro Football Hall of Fame players on this list. Yes, Julius Peppers, Charles Woodson and maybe Jeff Saturday will get to Canton one day very soon. One other guy will get to in a bit is already there. But this slide is all about Wood coming in at No. 2.

Wood spent his entire 12-year NFL career in Green Bay. After going undrafted out of USC in 1960, Wood decided to write a letter to then-Packers head coach Vince Lombardi to see if he could tryout for Green Bay. Lombardi allowed Wood to tryout for the team and the rest is history.

Wood made eight trips to the Pro Bowl, made five All-Pro First Teams, four All-Pro Second Teams, led the NFL in interceptions in 1962 and above all, was a five-time champion with the Packers. Green Bay won five NFL Championships in the 1960s with him on the team. The Packers were victorious in the first two Super Bowls in 1966 over the Kansas City Chiefs and in 1967 over the Oakland Raiders.

Wood earned a spot on the NFL 1960s All-Decade Team. He had to wait several years, but was finally inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the Class of 1989, a full 18 years after he last played for The Pack.

In total, Wood played in 166 games for the Packers, making 150 starts for them over the dozen years he starred for Green Bay. Wood hauled in 48 interceptions for 699 yards and two touchdowns during that time. This includes the league-best nine picks coming in 1962. He also had 16 fumble recoveries for 39 yards, while additionally forcing six fumbles on his own.

Wood had elite talent in the defensive backfield. His cover skills were stupendous. His ball hawking abilities were second to no one. Wood even shined in the punt return game for roughly the first half of his career. Though the Packers didn’t draft him in 1960, Wood wanting to join the team out of USC as a free agent was easily one of the best pickups the Packers have ever had. Only one free agent acquisition was better. And you know how that is, right?