GREEN BAY, Wis. — Eight Pro Bowls haven’t helped veteran free agent Charles Woodson land a job with a new team. Neither has Woodson’s 15 years of NFL experience, his Super Bowl ring nor his 2009 Defensive Player of the Year award. But one of his former Green Bay Packers teammates, now-retired cornerback Al Harris, doesn’t want it to end like this for Woodson.
“I personally think (Woodson) can still do it,” Harris said during a conference call following his announcement to officially retire with the Packers. “With him moving to safety, I would say, ‘Go for it.’ One thing you don’t want to do is leave the game and think that you still had something in the tank. When you’ve emptied your tank, you’re at peace with yourself. Once it’s over, it’s over.”
Harris, who recently joined the Kansas City Chiefs’ coaching staff as the assistant defensive backs coach, played five years with Woodson in Green Bay from 2006-10. Harris added that he talked to Woodson a couple weeks ago and noted that, whereas his career was ended by of injuries in 2011, Woodson is still healthy.
Woodson, 36, was released by the Packers on Feb. 15.
“We are grateful for all that Charles has given to the Green Bay Packers over the past seven years,” general manager Ted Thompson said in a statement at the time. “He has been an integral part of the Packers’ success and our Super Bowl title in 2010 would not have been possible without his contributions.
“A once-in-a-generation talent as a player, he is also a great leader and ambassador for the organization off the field. Charles will always be a member of the Packers family and we look forward to his eventual induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. We wish him and his family all the best.”
Woodson visited with the San Francisco 49ers earlier this offseason, but he was not offered a contract. With the 49ers drafting safety Eric Reid in the first round, the chances of Woodson signing with San Francisco became even less likely.
“That just how it goes with older guys in the NFL,” Woodson told NFL Network on April 5. “I am 36 years old, so, of course, I am considered ancient in the game right now. If you are an older guy, they kind of push you to the side and maybe they will look at you later down the road and when they figure they can get you much cheaper than what you are asking for.
“I don’t worry too much about it right now.”
It’s clear, though, that Woodson does want to continue his career and find a team for next season.
“I will land somewhere and help somebody win,” Woodson said April 5. “I am just waiting on an opportunity.”