Despite his age, expect Charles Woodson to be one of the more sought after players in the 2013 free agency period, with quite a few teams looking to improve their secondary through the strong safety, leaving the Green Bay Packers. Another AFC North team (along with the Baltimore Ravens), the Cincinnati Bengals, look like a likely destination.
The Bengals have certainly improved their position as a free agent landing spot in recent years thanks to some great cap-management, leaving them plenty of room to work with, and by the other great thing to do – winning, reaching the postseason for two consecutive seasons, although winning in the playoffs hasn’t happened in over 20 years.
The Bengals looked for a strong safety last season, but couldn’t find someone to put opposite to Reggie Nelson, settling for re-signing Chris Crocker, which wasn’t the perfect solution to a team that has a very strong defensive line but lacks a bit behind them, especially struggling with tight ends and throws up the middle.
Woodson is no longer the cover guy he used to be for over a decade while playing corner, but as someone who’ll less be about ball hawking and more about hitting and tackling, not to mention the wealth of experience, including that vital phrase championship experience he brings with him, Woodson is still a worthy starter on most NFL teams and should be a fine addition to the Bengals. He recorded 1.5 sacks, 1 interception and 23 tackles last season.
The Bengals also have a reputation for doing well by signing former first-round draft picks, especially on defense, with guys like linebacker Aaron Maybin, cornerbacks Terence Newman, Adam Jones and Jason Allen, Nelson, defensive lineman Jamaal Anderson and defensive end Derrick Harvey.
As we mentioned above, the Baltimore Ravens are also interested in Woodson, but only if they can’t sign Ed Reed, because they have a better strong safety in Bernard Pollard, while Woodson’s ability as a cover defensive back have severely diminished in the last couple of seasons.