This has to be a first: a winery breaking news of an NFL team releasing a future Hall of Famer.
This cryptic tweet was posted this morning by @TwentyFourWines, the official Twitter page for Charles Woodson’s winery:
Thank you Green Bay it was a great run! twitter.com/TwentyFourWine…
— Rick Ruiz (@TwentyFourWines) February 15, 2013
Immediately, NFL pundits on Twitter began speculating that Woodson had been released by the Green Bay Packers. Though that hasn’t happened yet, sources are now reporting that it is a formality and that Woodson will be a free agent by the end of the day.
The 36-year-old cornerback-turned-safety has played in Green Bay since 2006, winning a Super Bowl in 2010 (though he was forced out of the game with an injury). Prior to signing with the Packers, he was an Oakland Raider.
Woodson was set to cost the Packers a reported $9 million against the salary cap in 2013, which led many to speculate that he would have to renegotiate his contract to remain with the team. It appears that he may have been unwilling to take a pay cut — or the Packers were simply unwilling to keep him around, even at a reduced price.
Talk will now turn to whether Woodson will retire or sign with a new team. There’s no question that his play declined in 2012 and injuries have hampered the once-dynamic defensive playmaker in recent years. Still, it’s hard to imagine that he won’t generate at least some interest on the open market — if only as a mentor to a team with a young secondary and a lack of depth.