NFL Free Agency: Should Cincinnati Bengals Sign Charles Woodson?

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | The Cincinnati Bengals shored up the safety position in the 2013 NFL draft with Georgia product Shawn Williams, but showing some interest in former Green Bay Packers safety Charles Woodson would make some sense at this point.

Woodson is still without a home after losing his job in Green Bay over contract issues. That, and he's at the ripe age of 36 and missed a large chunk of last season thanks to injury.

Still, Woodson's market is starting to heat up finally after teams that missed out on safeties in the draft begin to search for a stop-gap solution. According to Rotoworld, the Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Carolina Panthers and New York Giants have all shown interest in his services.

Is now the time for the Bengals to jump into the fray?

Look at it this way. Woodson still has something to offer on a rotational basis at best and is one of the better ball-hawking players the league has ever seen. How confident is the Cincinnati coaching staff in a rookie like Williams who struggles in coverage?

Not to mention the only guy behind Williams is a man named Taylor Mays, who even Mike Zimmer, one of the NFL's elite defensive minds, has entirely given up on at this point, hence the drafting of Williams.

Cincinnati has to find someone to play next to Reggie Nelson. The rest of the names such as Jeromy Miles have shown little to instill confidence as starters at this point.

What better way to have an insurance option heading into next season than to bring a guy in like Woodson at this point in the offseason? Cincinnati brought in veteran Chris Crocker a few weeks into last season because the safety play was so abysmal.

What if that happens again? Crocker may not be available, and the front office might as well ink Woodson for the veteran minimum and cover all of their bases, right?

Woodson isn't going to find a much better deal than in Cincinnati, should the Bengals come calling. He just left Denver without a deal. Oakland and Carolina are in full-blown rebuild mode and the Giants already have three quality safeties on the roster.

In Cincinnati, Woodson gets to play with a potential contender, won't have to see the field on every down and gets to play under one of the NFL's greatest defensive coordinators who will only place him in situations that play to his strengths.

Not to mention you'd be hard pressed to find a better mentor for Williams during his rookie season. Woodson is on his way to the Hall of Fame and has a lot to offer a rookie such as Williams whether it's on-field advice, off-field etiquette and more.

Woodson would also provide another quality character in the Bengals locker room, which has been a recurring theme for the franchise as of late. The defense has plenty of vocal leaders, but adding another with the experience of Woodson is nothing but a good thing.

At the end of the day, Woodson will play football in 2013. The Bengals have shown no interest, but that could change at some point. It makes sense for the aforementioned reasons.

Cincinnati could use Woodson in more ways than one, but they don't necessarily need him. It's an interesting talking point, so let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Chris Roling is a graduate of Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. His work has appeared on Bleacher Report, Fansided, The Cincinnati Enquirer and more. He is the co-host of a Cincinnati Bengals podcast, @BengalsCentral

You can follow Chris on Twitter @Chris_Roling

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