Packers All-Pro cornerback Charles Woodson won the 2009 Defensive Player of the Year award in decisive fashion, doubling the votes of second-place finisher Darrelle Revis. Woodson helped Green Bay rank fifth in the league in regular season pass defense, tied for the NFL lead with nine interceptions, and returned three of them for touchdowns.
Woodson, however, is under contract through 2012 and entering his age-34 season. We were thus surprised to see a report from Josina Anderson of FOX 31 Denver that the Packers and Woodson are currently in negotiations about a new contract.
Anderson’s report, limited by the 140-character restriction on Twitter, seemed to indicate that the Packers are amenable to the deal by claiming Woodson “is in talks (for a) new contract.”
Considering Packers G.M. Ted Thompson’s history of preferring youngsters to aging veterans, it seems likely that Woodson’s camp — and Woodson’s camp only — is pushing for the new deal. We have a hard time believing Thompson will budge, with Woodson set to make $7.5 million in 2010, and base salaries of $5.5 million and $6.5 million in his age-35 and 36 seasons, respectively.
In a follow-up tweet, Anderson acknowledges that “age is a point of contention” in deliberations. In terms of leverage, Woodson does have outstanding performance and fellow cornerback Al Harris’ “very rare injury” working in his favor.
The Packers are also thin at Woodson’s position, with promising reserve Brandon Underwood in legal hot water, No. 3 corner Tramon Williams in a contract year, Will Blackmon moving to safety, and former second-round pick Patrick Lee having hardly played.