|Woodson won a Super Bowl with the Packers. (Getty Images)|
The Packers have released defensive back Charles Woodson after he spent seven years in Green Bay. The news first appeared Friday morning on the Twitter feed for Woodson's winery -- "Thank you Green Bay it was a great run!" -- and NFL Network's Ian Rapoport tweeted a short time later that Carl Poston, Woodson's agent, told him "They're getting ready to release him. It's part of the business."
Friday afternoon, the Packers made the news official.
"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. “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, 36, spent the first eight years of his NFL career in Oakland. The former Michigan star won the Heisman Trophy in 1997 and was the fourth player taken in the 1998 NFL Draft. He's an eight-time Pro Bowler, an NFL Defensive Player of the Year as well as a Super Bowl champion.
Woodson, who moved to safety late in his career after playing cornerback, has 55 interceptions and is undoubtedly a first-ballot Hall of Famer. But conversations about Canton are premature; Poston tells Rapoport that Woodson "sounds like he has a lot of football left" and that his client would "like to go play for a contender, win another Super Bowl. He caught that bug."
Woodson played in just seven games last season after suffering a broken collarbone. But given the NFL's continuing evolution as a passing league and the dearth of capable defensive backs, we're guessing Woodson won't be out of work long.