It was announced this week that this will be the final season we see Charles Woodson roaming the backline of the Oakland Raiders defense. The former Heisman Trophy winner is still playing at a high level of success, but has decided to put his shoulder pads up for good after a career that has spanned 17 seasons and 65 interceptions. The first ballot Hall of Famer has five picks this season and is regarded as one of the hardest hitters in the game.
Woodson came into the league with Peyton Manning and this season, after edging him out in college for the Heisman, finally intercepted the quarterback great.
“2015 is going to be my last season playing in the NFL,” Woodson said. “Was it a tough decision? Kind of in a way. But a couple weeks ago it hit me that this would be it. It’s important for me to let Raider Nation know now.”
Woodson’s leadership in the locker room is another reason the Raiders are a team on the rise and potentially a wild card team this season or a contender in 2016.
WHERE WILL ROBERT GRIFFIN III LAND?
While it is a sure thing Robert Griffin, III will not be in Washington next season, where he lands after this season is anyone’s guess. Look for the Redskins to cut the former Heisman Trophy winner and first round pick before the team has to pay him more than $16 million at the beginning of the 2016 season.
Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports thinks there are going to be a few suitors for the quarterback, with Dallas and Philadelphia being mentioned as possible early landing spots.
I see the Dallas connection, having played at Baylor in college and Texas being his home state. Given the status of Tony Romo and an injury history that has to have Jerry Jones cringing a bit, it seems like a logical move. But Romo’s pocket style and Griffin’s mobility are polar opposites.
The Eagles could be a good fit if Chip Kelly remains in Philadelphia and the team releases or trades Sam Bradford or Mark Sanchez. Griffin may not go to a team with the probability of being the starter from day one.
Washington was never a good fit for him, and the play of Kirk Cousins guarantees the end of the RGIII era in D.C. is only weeks away.
The one team Robinson sees as a good fit is Kansas City of all places, with Andy Reid working his magic like he did with Michael Vick in Philadelphia and Alex Smith with the Chiefs?. Could this be the place where careers are rebuilt?
As Robinson said…
Coach Andy Reid spent more than a decade on a similar roller coaster with Donovan McNabb. There were rough times when McNabb was passive aggressive, said the wrong thing at the wrong time, rubbed some teammates the wrong way and annoyingly had his mother at seemingly every practice. Sometimes he was a joy off the field. Other times he was tone deaf and awkward. Some guys loved his personality. Others thought he was (pick one: a diva, square, phony, too commercial, etc.).
If this happens, look for Smith’s days as the started to be numbered.
So much was made about Griffin coming out of college and revolutionizing the quarterback position. That did not happen and now, the perfect fit and scheme and management must be in place for him to find his true place in the NFL. We have seen plenty of quarterbacks leave the team they started with for greener pastures, like Smith and the Saints Drew Brees. It can happen again.
It has been reported this might be the final time Detroit fans will see Calvin Johnson in a Lions uniform. As the team looks to transition with moves in the front office and potentially with its roster, Johnson might be traded to a contender after the 2015 season.
As Conor Orr of NFL.com wrote, the large cap hit he presents to the team might be the main reason he parts with the team that drafted him into the league.
Johnson won’t be retiring, of course, but there’s almost no chance a new Lions general manager takes a look at his salary as is and decides that his or her team can move forward with a massive $24,088 cap hit. Perhaps that opinion changes once cap rises again — which it is projected to do — but even then, those are percentages typically used for quarterbacks, premiere pass rushers and lockdown cornerbacks.
The Patriots and Cowboys could be teams interested in the superstar.