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New York Giants Could Be a Fit for Former Green Bay Packers’ Charles Woodson

February 15th, 2013 at 2:14 PM
By Paul Tierney

'Charles Woodson' photo (c) 2010, Mike Morbeck Photography - license: As the beginning of the league year rapidly approaches, the New York Giants are preparing to scour the free-agent market for low cost replacements for the valuable free-agents the team will undoubtedly lose on the open market. Given the team's salary cap situation, safety Kenny Phillips (among others) is nearly a lock to sign with another squad.

The Giants are lucky enough to be have the talent to replace from Phillips from within. Stevie Brown, Will Hill and even Terrell Thomas are viable replacements. However, as news breaks that Charles Woodson is slated to be released by the Green Bay Packers, the Giants could have an interest.

First off, it's important to note that Woodson is not a cornerback at this point in his career. If he signs with the Giants, he is going to be utilized as a safety. Even as he enters his 15th season in the NFL, Woodson is still a strong run-support defender that has the ability to play over-the-top of receivers down the field.He's clearly lost a step over the years; but, if healthy, Woodson is still an NFL caliber safety. The Giants would be able to use him in a variety of roles that would improve the defense.

Obviously, the major impediment to Big Blue even flirting with the notion of brining in Woodson is his value on the open market. At almost 37 years of age, he's not going to receive anything longer than a one year contract. However, given his veteran leadership and overall ability, there are going to be teams lining up to sign Woodson on the cheap. In particular, every team in the NFC East could use help at safety. 

The Washington Redskins lost both their safeties to injury last season. The entire Philadelphia Eagles' secondary was a train wreck in 2011 and the Cowboys weren't much better. Dallas signed Gerald Sensabaugh to a five year contract extension in 2011 and the team is going to have issues bringing back their own free agents anyway. Dallas may be a long-shot to bring in Woodson. However, given Dan Snyder's history of overpaying for big names and the Eagles recent infatuation with free-agents as well, it would be imprudent to count them out as potential suitors.

For the Giants, Woodson would be a great replacement for Kenny Phillips. It's likely that he's going to cost more than the team can afford to bring him in. With three (four if you include Tyler Sash) potential replacements for Phillips likely to be brought back to training camp in 2013, the team will likely focus their energies on brining back the likes of Will Beatty, Martellus Bennett and Kevin Boothe. However, if there is any money left over, don't be surprised to hear Jerry Reese and Co. inquire about Woodson's services.


Tags: contract, Dallas, Football, free agent, Gerald Sensabaugh, Green Bay, Green Bay Packers, Jerry Reese, Kenny Phillips, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Stevie Brown, Washington Redskins, Will Beatty

27 Responses to “New York Giants Could Be a Fit for Former Green Bay Packers’ Charles Woodson”

  1.  UANYG says:

    I don’t see the G-Men looking to the outside to fill Phillips’ role with the team, if he ends up leaving, which is a big if. I do expect him to go, but it’s not etched in stone, given how unreliable his knees may be.

    Still, the in-house candidates are as good as anyone they can pick up. Besides, the player they sign on the cheap may in fact be Brown, who is an exclusive rights free-agent, and I’d prefer him over an aging Woodson. If the team is going to take a step back, per some of the posters here, do so while giving your young up and comers a chance to show you what they can do.

    The money’s going to Nicks, and the OL, and that’s before they even get to free-agents.

    •  demo3356 says:

      This team is not going to take a step back. It will be a younger hungrier team and will look different but it wont be taking a step back. Not With Eli, Nicks, Cruz, Wilson, Jpp, the prince and Co.. I think this team will win more than 9 games next year and be back in the playoffs again

    •  Paul Tierney says:

      I attempted to write that as gently as possible in this article. There is too little money and to many more problems that need to be solved. In theory, he fits with this defense. I just don’t see it happening though.

  2.  demo3356 says:

    Love Charles Woodson, but FF55yrs has a better chance of playing safety for the giants next year than Charles Woodson does.. Rolle, Hill, Brown Sash and likely TT will be the Giants Safeties next year. Woodson will get a nice deal from someone desperate for Safety help Someone that can pay him more than we can..

    • Dan BentonDan Benton says:

      I’m confident T2 will remain at CB (call me crazy, just remember me saying it) and with KP likely to leave via free agency, Woodson could come in much the same way Sam Madison once did at CB. So long as another team doesnt overpay, which Dan Snyder ultimately will.

      •  demo3356 says:

        Yup, somebody will over pay him.. Too many teams in dire need of safety help and more cap room then us

    •  fanfor55years says:

      Hey, I can still read the QBs eyes with the best of them, as long as I have my distance glasses on.

      And I can come up to fill a gap every bit as unsuccessfully as our linebackers did in 2012.

      And I’ll take veteran minimum. Where do I sign?

  3.  KingAndrewXXIII says:

    I would love to see Woodson in Blue for the simple fact that he brings in additional leadership and a knowledge for the game that this team could use. Additionally, he has a knack for finding the ball and is an excellent blitzer. Having said that, at 37…I think that he will command more money than the Giants…and many other teams in the league are willing to pay. It wouldn’t surprise me for a safety hungry team looking to steal some headlines or make a splash by signing a “sexy” name went after him though – someone like the Cowboys, Jets or Redskins probably make the most sense.

  4.  GOAT56 says:

    I think the issue is that for 2013 Woodson is probably not much cheaper than KP. He fits on a team like the pats are texans who are now are close. While I think our rebuild on the fly will stop us from winning, signing Woodson makes little sense. We already have vets in Rolle and Webster in the secondary.

    Dan that’s a big prediction and because you are closer to the team or at least team news than the rest of us then I have to take it seriously. If TT could return to CB and just be in the mix of 3rd CB that would be great. CB depth is far more concerning IMO than Safety even minus KP.

  5.  GOAT56 says:

    There will be many more vets let go in the coming weeks.

  6.  GOAT56 says:

    Broncos will use franchise tag on Ryan Clady

    So Beatty is now at worse the 2nd best free agent LT and maybe 1st because I have heard some that have serious concerns about Long not being the same player he once was. This means a greater possibility it’s franchise tag or bust in re-signing Beatty at least when free agency begins.

    •  Krow says:

      Yesterday he was top 3 in the universe. Now he’s the best LOT in free agency. Man, this kid had one hell of a season.

      •  fanfor55years says:

        I’m still not giving him more than a B+. I grade, admittedly, with my eyes and I didn’t go back like those stat heads and review every play and every situation. All I know is he was NOT a dominating LT. He was very good. But his stock is rising for no reason that is apparent to me.

        Nonetheless, I’ve said all along, tag him and THEN start negotiating. The era of the Giants not using those tags has to end thanks to the owners really capping that cap. When the player squawks they’ll have to tell them to go back and ask De Smith about that great deal he got with the CBA. That guy talked big and then got totally rolled (as did we as fans) by the owners.

        •  GOAT56 says:

          It’s a passing league. He’s at his best in pass protection. I don’t think he’s getting better just more people are realizing he’s good. B+ is a fair grade. But how many B+ LT’s are there in the NFL? Not more than around 10 which is why I have said Beatty is top 10 or at least very close. And Beatty is still improving.

          I agree tag him then start negotiating if there is not another candidate in free agency we like. Also can’t the tag be removed if it hasn’t been signed by the player?

    •  UANYG says:

      Great, I can see the hole in the Giants pocket getting bigger.

      Someone will get cut or restructured, per your comment about the cuts looming. Webster is #1 on my list, particularly if what Dan’s belief about Thomas is shared by the NYG FO. That’s probably the biggest savings you can attain with the players we have on the roster, about 6M?

      With Diehl, he has the luxury of having Beatty’s status next season being unknown. I can’t see NY letting both tackles go until or if they have a clear plan of succession. For the time being, I think Diehl may be safe, which pains me!

  7.  fanfor55years says:

    TT at corner or not, the Giants absolutely need to draft at least one cornerback high. If they can go into the next 3-4 seasons with a core of Prince, Hosley and a stud they draft this April they can then array around them a group of reasonably-priced vets and a youngster or two taken through the draft or from among the UDFAs. But if they don’t bring in the horses at this position at a relatively cheap price (ie. drafting) then they’re making a huge mistake.

    Woodson? With Rolle, Hill and Brown I think he’d fit well, but if they think they have anything in Sash why pay the price for a one-year rental when you’re up against the cap and Woodson won’t come cheap? And while Dan may be right about Thomas, no one can count on his playing corner even if that’s the initial intent, in which case he becomes a potential weapon in their three-safety looks and is every bit as good as Woodson at coming up to play the run (and frankly, Rolle and Hill are also terrific run-stuffers).

    I just don’t see it.

  8.  GOAT56 says:

    Just for Nosh:

    It’s not crazy if Giants pick Nicks over Cruz

    Eli Manning knows he has it pretty good. The New York Giants’ quarterback won his second Super Bowl title (and MVP award) last year with the help of two star wide receivers who bring none of the diva element often associated with star wide receivers. Manning is aware of this, and said last year in training camp that he considers himself “very fortunate” that Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz are as humble and hard-working as they are talented. Undoubtedly, Nicks’ health issues were a significant reason for the dropoff in the Giants’ passing game in 2012. The Giants are at their best when Nicks and Cruz are both on the field and at full strength. And when the Giants are at their best, they win the Super Bowl.

    But trouble looms for this arrangement. Nothing is forever in the NFL’s salary-cap era, and the Giants may end up having to decide which of their star wide receivers they keep long-term and which gets sent on his way. Cruz is a restricted free agent this year. Nicks’ contract has one year left on it. It’s time for the Giants to figure out whether they can legitimately keep both, and if they can’t, which one is more important to them.

    On Super Bowl Sunday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the Giants are more focused right now on signing Nicks to a long-term deal than Cruz. This was something of a surprise, since we’ve been hearing about the Cruz negotiations for months now and he’s the one whose deal is actually up. My first thought was that a story like that could give the Giants ammunition in their negotiations with Cruz, possibly convincing the player to move closer to the team’s number out of concern that they’ll turn elsewhere. But even if you look only at the face value of the story, it’s really not a crazy idea for the Giants to pick Nicks over Cruz.

    Yes, Cruz is the one with the flashier numbers over the past couple of years. No one is arguing his accomplishments. He has 168 catches for 2,628 yards and 19 touchdowns — numbers that rank among the very best in the NFL for wide receivers. Over the same time period, Nicks has 129 catches for 1,884 yards and 10 touchdowns and has missed four games due to injury. Seems like a no-brainer, right? Give Cruz what he wants and tell the banged-up Nicks he has to take less until he proves he can stay healthy.

    But I’m not so sure the Giants think the same way, and honestly I’m not so sure they should. Jerry Reese loves to cite numbers and tell you they can be replaced, and I’m sure that it’s come up in negotiations with Cruz’s agent that Steve Smith caught 107 passes for 1,220 yards and seven touchdowns in 2009 in the same slot receiver role Cruz plays now, with the same quarterback throwing to him.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying Cruz isn’t better than Smith. I’m saying that, in the Giants’ minds, it may make sense to think that, if Cruz left, Manning could make a star out of whoever they got to replace him. When the Giants tried to play Cruz on the outside more in 2012, it didn’t work out too well. When opposing defenses started getting physical with Cruz in midseason, his productivity dipped. He worked to overcome it, but by late in the season the Giants were clearly trying to keep Cruz in the slot as much as possible, to the point where they were using unready rookie Rueben Randle on the outside in some formations. It’s entirely possible the Giants could reach the conclusion that the undrafted Cruz, while a tremendous NFL success story, is at his best a great slot receiver and not worthy of No. 1 receiver money.

    Nicks, on the other hand, is a first-round draft pick who fits the No. 1 receiver profile perfectly. He’s big and physical. He has great hands. He’s a technician and a film-room junkie who can master any route. He can outjump and outfight defenders for the ball, over the middle or downfield. He spots the ball in traffic before anyone else does. He has those famously massive hands. It’s entirely possible the Giants look at Nicks and see the potential for so much more than Cruz can bring in terms of production in the role of the traditional No. 1 wideout. He’s shown it. The only drawback with Nicks is that he hasn’t shown an ability to stay healthy. This matters, and should factor into the decision, but the Giants could reasonably decide to bet on his vast potential and the chance that he doesn’t remain injury-prone for the rest of his career.

    There are other factors at work, of course, and the biggest is money. They might be able to get Nicks right now for less than what No. 1 receivers get on the open market because he’s not a free agent and he’s coming off an injury season. They have the ability, per the rules, to dawdle with Cruz, since they can tender him as a restricted free agent and put off the long-term decision until next year. In their ideal world, they keep both at their price. But don’t be surprised if the price they’ve picked for Cruz is a lot cheaper than the one to which they’re willing to go for Nicks. After the way those two played this year, that might not make the most sense to you as a fan. But it’s not crazy to think it makes sense to the Giants.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      Welcome to my world. Been making this argument for a long time. Lately. some of these pros are starting to catch up. Just proves that we know this team better than most of the media, even the real experts.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        I’m haven’t been a fan of this Dan’s because I feel like he didn’t really understand our team in some of his articles. But I think he gaining a better understanding and thus his articles are improving.

  9.  Krow says:

    I think Beatty would be a fool to sign. In a weeks time he’ll be considered the best LOT that ever played the position. In 2 weeks it will be generally acknowledged that no one will ever match his level of play in the future.

    I’d wait.

    •  demo3356 says:

      This isnt one of your best Shticks bro.. I’d put a bullet in this one and go back to the drawing board..
      Nobody is saying anything close to what you claim about Beatty. The bottom line is he is both the best and the youngest starting OL we have and also plays the most important position on the line. Despite what you think he graded out very well last year and the Giants can not afford to let him walk. He will be signed or tagged and we will be a better team for it. We can afford to go inot a bidding war on the open market for him or any other quality FA and we can;t put the health of our franchise QB in a rookie, a n unknown or the artist formerly known as David Diehl..
      Carry on.. Back to your comedy routine about how everyone is over valuing Will Beatty and Crowning him the Goat…

  10.  G-MenFan says:

    Beatty is a solid LT who is still developing. He hasn’t reached his peak yet and the best is yet to come. The Giants will re-sign him even if they have to franchise him. I also think they’ll re-ink Kevin Boothe. The biggest question mark on the line is can Brewer win the RT job from Diehl in camp? If he can, the Giants are in pretty good shape. If he can’t, he’s the Clint Sintim of the Giants O-line and we’re in trouble.

    The reason I believe they’ll get the left side back in blue is because they can’t afford not to. There’s no one waiting in the wings. They have to pay for that and the O-line is not the unit you patch together on the cheap. Any other unit but that one.

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