The Panthers are apparently in the running for the services for former Green Bay defensive back Charles Woodson. He's ancient by league standards, at age 36, but he would also undeniably improve a secondary that remains one of the team's biggest question marks.
According to The Denver Post, Woodson met with the Broncos Wednesday but left without a contract. He is believed to have an offer already from the Oakland Raiders, his former team, and apparently the Panthers have at least inquired about getting him. Coach Ron Rivera was coy about that Wednesday night.
Why not more NFL-wide interest in Woodson, who has made eight Pro Bowls -- including as recently as 2011? Because he was hampered throughout the 2012 season with a collarbone injury, he will probably still want a healthy salary and he's going to have to cover players who were in elementary school when he first came into the league.
The Panthers went down this road once before, signing a Packer in his late 30s with an enormous reputation and a recent AP NFL Defensive Player of Year award, hoping he could push them to a playoff berth. That was the late Reggie White, and that one didn't work out well. White started every game and was a steady locker room presence, but the team dropped from 8-8 in 1999 to 7-9 the year he played.
But that Panther team in 2000 was not as talented as this one is, and Woodson would be very helpful to a team that released cornerback Chris Gamble in the offseason and has questions at both safety and cornerback (Woodson has played both -- he can play pretty much every position in the secondary, including nickel corner).
If there's any shot at all at getting him -- assuming he is healthy -- the Panthers need to make a serious offer. This is quite an opportunity.
6 months ago