Found February 19, 2013 on
Sports Blog Net:
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="630"] The Patriots should seriously consider adding both Charles Woodson and Dwight Freeney.[/caption]
As recently history has shown, with Tom Brady as their quarterback, the New England Patriots are a perennial Super Bowl contender. Yet, the Patriots have been unable to win the big game in recent years, coming up small in the big spot, seemingly over and over again.
Whether it was the two Super Bowl defeats to the Giants or the recent loss in the 2012 AFC Championship game, the Pats have simply been unable to get it done in the biggest moments and often it has been the defense that has let them down.
Well, with the career of Brady winding down and the championship window closing, it is time for the Patriots to go all in and do whatever it takes to surround Brady with enough talent to win a fourth Super Bowl championship
With that in mind, the Patriots should seriously entertain the idea of signing Charles Woodson and Dwight Freeney, two recently released defensive stalwarts that could help the Pats finally get over the hump in 2013.
While Woodson and Freeney are hardly the players they once were, both can still contribute in a meaningful way to a contending team and as far as contenders are concerned, now team would be a better fit for each player than the Patriots.
Let's start with Woodson. The former University of Michigan star is now 38-years old and has clearly lost a step. There is no debating that Woodson is not the same guy that was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2009, yet despite his injury hampered 2012 season, he still has something to offer.
In large part due to their incredibly efficient offense, the Patriots often find themselves in the lead, which means playing a lot of nickel defense. That creates the perfect scenario for Woodson to succeed. The former top-5 draft choice thrived in Green Bay as a nickel corner. He was outstanding in run support, covering the slot and applying pressure on the quarterback.
Woodson is a jack-of-all trades kind of player and no coach could use him more effectively than Patriots head man Bill Belichick. Furthermore, if Woodson was used solely in nickel situations, his diminishing cover skills would be exposed less and his playmaking abilities would come to the forefront.
During his 15-year career with the Raiders and Packers, Woodson has notched 55 interceptions, 29 forced fumbles and 11 fumble recoveries along with 17 sacks. He has a knack for making big plays on defense and that Patriots are in desperate need of some defensive playmakers.
The Patriots are also in need of a pass-rusher and that is where Freeney comes in. Sure, the long-time Colt may not be the player he once was and he is coming off a season in which he posted just five sacks. Yet, if used correctly, he can still be a difference maker.
The 33-year old defensive end out of Syracuse has seen his production decline and after averaging over 10 sacks a year in his first nine seasons; he has only 13 sacks over the past two seasons.
Yet, Freeney is still good enough to rush the passer and while his days as a full-time player are over, Belichick is the best at getting players to succeed in defined roles, which would be perfect for Freeney, who could be to provide the pass rushing presence the Pats have sorely been missing the past few seasons.
Woodson and Freeney are no longer all-pro caliber players, but there is still enough left in the tank for each to contribute in a meaningful way in 2013. Moreover, if somehow, both ended up in New England with contacts that were short-term and affordable, it could help add to a defense that desperate needs some playmaking, while not breaking the bank for the future.
The Patriots should be doing all they can to win now and with just four draft picks in the upcoming 2013 NFL Draft, they will need to address their defense through free agency. That is where Woodson and Freeney come in, two players past their prime with just enough left for one more run to the Super Bowl.
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Gil Brandt of NFL.com suggests that free agent DB Charles Woodson could find a limited market for his services after being released by the Packers.
Brandt goes as far to suggest that Woodson may even consider retirement due to limited interest.
This is purely speculation on the part of Brandt, but he could be right about the level interest in Woodson this offseason.
Gil Brandt of NFL.com believes free agent cornerback/safety Charles Woodson may end up retiring after he realizes how small his value on the open market.
Charles Woodson has had a great, great HOF-worthy career. I suspect it will be over after he sees the market for him this offseason.
— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) February 18, 2013
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With the announcement that Dwight Freeney won't be re-signed by the Indianapolis Colts, the veteran defensive end will be heading into free agency for the first time. With just 12 tackles and five sacks last season, Freeney may have a difficult time finding work with agreeable pay.
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Charles Woodson could be an interesting fit for Patriots - Sports - The Boston Globe:
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Dwight Freeney, the longtime defensive end/linebacker for
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Former Indianapolis Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney is open to play anywhere in the league but he’s got one city he’d really like to play, New York. Freeney played college ball at Syracuse and grew up in nearby Connecticut, so for someone whose nearing the end of his career a trip home sounds like a good idea. Also helps that both the New York Giants and New York Jets could...
Impending free agent DE Dwight Freeney joined Pro Football Talk Live on Wednesday and mentioned that Peyton Manning has already been recruiting him to sign with the Broncos.
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Dwight Freeney will have his list of suitors, and Roddy White and the Atlanta Falcons seem to be one of them. White and his Falcons teammates seem to think they are a playmaker away from the Super Bowl on defense, and White took to twitter today to try to court Freeney.
I would love to see Dwight Freeney in a falcon uniform next year I hope that’s not tampering
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