Thereís bound to be some changes to the Green Bay Packersí roster this offseason, but Aaron Rodgers doesnít believe Charles Woodson should be among them.
During his weekly radio show on ESPN Milwaukee, the Packers quarterback threw his support behind the team bringing back the 36-year-old defensive back for a 16th NFL season.
Woodson, who will be 37 in October, has two years left on the extension he signed in 2010, but is scheduled to make $10 million in 2013, including $3.5 million in roster bonuses.
Over the next two years, the Packers will have several core players nearing the final year of their contacts, including Rodgers, four-time Pro Bowl linebacker Clay Matthews and defensive tackle B.J. Raji.
Considering the Packersí secondary operated efficiently without Woodson in the nine games he missed with a broken collarbone this season, itís plausible the $20 million heís due over the next two seasons could go towards extensions for others.
However, Rodgers still believes Woodson has a role that cannot be overlooked.
ďI think that's got to be one of the top priorities,Ē said Rodgers of bringing back Woodson this offseason. ďIím not sure what thatís going to look like, but I know he is under contract and he is an important part of our football team. I think he adds a lot. Heís still playing at a really high level. Heís obviously very intelligent, sets a good example on preparation.Ē
Rodgers went on to credit Woodson for the development for the teamís starting cornerbacks, Tramon Williams and Sam Shields, a spot Woodson officially vacated this year when he made the move back to safety in the teamís 3-4 base defense.
The original plan called for Woodson to move to the slot cornerback in the teamís nickel package, but when he broke his collarbone against St. Louis on Oct. 21, it opened the door for rookie Casey Hayward to cement himself in that role.
The eight-time Pro Bowler finished his seventh season in Green Bay with 38 tackles, 1 Ĺ sacks and one interception in seven regular-season games before returning in time for the playoffs where he predominately played safety.
Along with third-year starting safety Morgan Burnett, the Packers have two prospects in M.D. Jennings and Jerron McMillian who have shown potential, but you also canít discount experience in Rodgersí mind.
ďI donít really like talking for other players, especially when thereís money involved. That gets a little dicey. Thatís something theyíll have to work out, but Iíve said this before about other players, I donít think you get better by taking from the whole, by taking a core guy, and I think heís a core guy.Ē
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