Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Free-agent countdown: No. 15 C.J. Wilson

Jan. 24, 2014
 
Green Bay Packers defensive end C.J. Wilson is carted off the field during the second half of the Nov. 24 game against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field. File/Press-Gazette Media)
Green Bay Packers defensive end C.J. Wilson is carted off the field during the second half of the Nov. 24 game against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field. File/Press-Gazette Media)

2014 free-agent countdown

20. Chris Banjo, safety
19. Seneca Wallace, quarterback
18. Kahlil Bell, running back
17. Robert Francois, inside linebacker
16. Marshall Newhouse, offensive lineman
15. C.J. Wilson, defensive lineman

More

Sometimes life just isn't fair in the NFL.

How else can you rationalize C.J. Wilson, coming off his most productive NFL season and arguably his best training camp, being confined to the sidelines for most of 2013 season?

There was the high-ankle sprain that took him out for a month, but even before his late-season injury, Wilson’s playing time was curtailed after losing his starting spot to a returning Johnny Jolly in the base 3-4 defense.

Wilson, 26, played a mere 108 snaps in eight games, but kept prospective. Since his arrival as a seventh-round pick in 2010, the 6-foot-3, 306-pound defensive lineman viewed himself as a placeholder for Jolly.

If Jolly hadn’t been suspended for three years for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, Wilson probably wouldn’t have had the chance to play in 31 games during his first two NFL seasons.

“You go from playing a lot to not even not just starting, but not even playing or dressing period on game day. That's a humble route to do,” said Wilson in December. “I thank God he gave me patience and I knew that was my role so far this year because (Johnny) Jolly before he left, he was a starter. He was producing great for the team, so I always felt like I was the man until Jolly got back.

“It's a humble route. It sucks, but it's just the cards I've been dealt this year.”

So Wilson takes the eight tackles he recorded as a run-stopping defensive end into free agency, along with the entire starting base defensive line of B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett and Jolly.

With Pickett now 34, Jolly’s future clouded due to a neck injury and Raji seemingly prepared to test the market, there’s a chance the Packers will need C.J. Wilson more next season than they did in 2013.

The Packers have only one player, rookie Josh Boyd, under contract listed as at least 310 pounds. In a defense dependent on stopping the run, that’s an alarming stat.

Wilson doesn't possess the natural athleticism of Raji, Pickett or Jolly, but he's a scrapper and the most proven run-stuffer outside of the starting three. He's also come with a much lower price tag.

Meanwhile, Wilson is remaining patient, much like his approach during a trying season.

Editor's note: Prior to the start of the new league year in March, Press-Gazette Media is counting down the top 20 unrestricted, restricted and exclusive right free agents the Green Bay Packers will have to decide on this offseason.

No. 15 C.J. Wilson, fourth-year defensive lineman

The skinny: Unrestricted free agent.

The snaps: 108 total (107 defensive, 1 special teams).

The stats: 8 tackles in 8 games.

The 2013 salary: $635,250.

whodkiew@pressgazettemedia.com and follow him on Twitter @WesHod

About this blog

Get Green Bay Packers updates as they happen from our reporting team: (from left) Mike Vandermause, Wes Hodkiewicz and Pete Dougherty.

What's your take on the Packers Family Night change?

Retrieving results.
Watching practice is fine.(Your vote)
15%
575 votes
I'd rather watch a scrimmage.(Your vote)
23%
856 votes
I don't want to pay to watch practice.(Your vote)
27%
1016 votes
It doesn't matter to me.(Your vote)
34%
1271 votes

Catch up on the latest in our pregame show every game day.

Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports

ORDER YOURS

Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports