Last week's column about controversial Chargers team doctor David Chao and the NFL's continuing campaign to discredit CTE pioneer Bennet Omalu prompted a comment that I’ve heard often in the discussions of making professional sports safer.
It’s a point worth considering - do the players really want a safer working environment?
Indeed, injuries are part of the cost of making a living for many players, and that brings up another point: there are times when people in a certain situation aren’t qualified to judge things like the costs of long term care, or the realities of dealing with CTE. A 22-year old rookie in the NFL - and even many of the ‘older’ players, relatively few of whom are over 35 or are well educated in the realities of health-related issues.
Per NFLN's Ian Rapoport, Charles Woodson has a standing offer from the Broncos, but still plans to take his Tuesday visit with the Raiders, who are the other team known to have made an offer to the corner-turned-safety.
The Panthers and Giants are said to have expressed interest, but there have been no reported offers from either team. The Giants are reportedly only willing to pay Woodson around the minimum salary, which is $940K for a player of his experience.
Rapoport reports that other unidentified teams are involved, and suggests that Denver is the only team to have offered Woodson more than the minimum salary.
Updated 10:40am ET
As per Mike Florio, the Broncos have added an insurance policy to Peyton Manning's contract. Manning is signed through 2016 and will be guaranteed $40M over the next two seasons, after having passed his physical in March.
If Peyton were to reaggravate the neck injury that cost him his 2011 season, the team would be able to cut Manning and void the $20M salary he's due in 2014. The insurance policy would provide Denver with cap relief and $10M in cash in the case of any other serious injury.
Updated 12:46pm ET
Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Thursday was a very busy day around the AFCW, especially in Oakland and San Diego.
The Raiders are scheduled to host Charles Woodson on Tuesday, if his free-agent status isn't resolved by then. Steve Corkran figures that Oakland sees Woodson as a potential starter at free safety, so they could hold an edge over the Broncos relative to playing time, which is no small matter.
Neil Hornsby says Chuck has missed too many tackles in recent years but is still a pretty good player, and he thinks Dallas and Washington would be logical fits for his skill set. Woodson to Denver still makes too much sense for both sides for it not to happen, though, so our thinking is it eventually gets done.
PFF's Ben Stockwell writes in great depth today about Von Miller's remarkable pass rush skills. From his piece:
What Miller achieved this year was simply astonishing — to be that prolific, show such improvement in one facet of his skills as a pass rusher, and be so close to perfectly balanced as a pass rusher. Miller got pressure inside of opposing pass protectors as often as anyone, and got pressure outside of pass protectors as often as anyone. Combine that with an ability to just drive straight through a pass rusher on a bullrush (1 Sk, 1 Ht, 6 Hu) when needed, and the energy and awareness to clean up plays when the pocket breaks (12 pressures including four sacks in clean up and pursuit) and you have nothing short of the ideal pass rusher. I’m not sure how you improve on what Miller did this season, and his biggest challenge is doing it with even more expected from him, and without Elvis Dumervil on the other side. The fascinating battle will be whether his opponents can focus one (or two) men in on him, or whether the role in which the Broncos deploy him will allow him to continue to cause mayhem against a plethora of blockers.
I’m getting pretty hopeful that the Broncos will sign Charles Woodson, based on the fact that he visited Dove Valley Wednesday, and also on the smoke signals that Mike Klis is reading. I’ve advocated a few times for Woodson to be signed, and I’ve banged the table for a matchup safety.
I think that of all the free agents presently available on the street, Woodson is the best possible fit for this Broncos team. There’s some injury risk there, but I would say that Woodson's having missed seven games in 2012 was unusual for his career, and that you’d be foolish to make a sweeping assumption that it’s the new normal for him because he hit some magic “old man” cutoff point.
All things considered, Woodson has been pretty durable throughout his career, and he has that record despite playing his position in a very unique and physical way. I would emphatically call Woodson a risk worth taking on the injury front.
Just a week ago, we wrote the following about civil rights champion Chris Kluwe:
We'll wish Kluwe all the best, unless he ends up in Oakland, as the Star Tribune suggests is a possibility, along with Dallas, Cleveland, and Carolina. But no matter where he lands, we'll always appreciate Kluwe's justness and support for his fellow human beings.
Well, you know what happened...
Carl Poston, the agent for Charles Woodson, provided an update on the status of his client this morning, via Josina Anderson:
Charles Woodson had a good meeting with the Denver Broncos. I believe they feel his versatile style will help their defense shine more. We remain in discussions with them. Charles is also still talking to Oakland, and a new team entered the mix during his visit to Colorado.
Was Poston referring to the Panthers?
Updated 2:44pm ET
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Let's again get caught up on where things stand with Charles Woodson.
The 36-year-old visited Dove Valley on Wednesday, meeting with players, coaches, and of course, front-office folks. He left without a contract, but Mike Klis characterizes the Broncos as being the likely favorites to procure Woodson's services.
Vic Lombardi thinks their chances are pretty good, but he hears that Woodson is seeking a two-year deal.
Is that a problem? Well, it could be, if it means he's looking for guarantees that extend into that second year. If it's a two-year deal in name only, meaning one that contains no guarantees in the second year, then who cares?
According to Mike Klis, Charles Woodson's visit to Dove Valley ended with no contract agreement. However, both Klis and Vic Lombardi seem to think this story isn't over yet:
All things quiet on the Broncos front, which means they're probably negotiating a deal right now.— Vic Lombardi (@VicLombardi) May 15, 2013