Packers release Charles Woodson, cap cuts coming from all teams

Jamie Squire

Woodson is the first high profile name to be released before the start of free agency on March 12, but he won’t be the last. The Steelers are expected to make a few cuts, with OLB James Harrison being the most prominent. Is Green Bay a potential suitor for Harrison?

With news breaking Friday that the Green Bay Packers have released veteran defensive back Charles Woodson, the league as a whole launches itself into the pre-free agency period.

This is about the time when cap casualties are taken off life support, which essentially means teams are giving them a chance to compete in the open market before players with expiring markets are set to sign with other teams.

Buffalo cut cornerback Terrence McGee Thursday, and the league is likely to report more cuts in the coming days, some of whom could be big names.

In line for that among the Steelers, most notably, is outside linebacker James Harrison. There's no direct connection between Woodson's release and Harrison's likely availability, but Green Bay is an intriguing option, should Harrison be released of his contract with Pittsburgh. The Packers are a team struggling greatly against the run, and need players who can fill that space right now. 2012 first round draft pick Nick Perry is expected to fill Erik Walden's place opposite Clay Matthews, but few OLBs, if any, are better in run support than Harrison, even on a bum knee that limited him last season.

When Harrison recovered, he looked much like he has in years past. Pittsburgh would likely want to sign Harrison for less, but how much less would they be able to get without Harrison simply testing the market? Teams with cap space available would be interested in Harrison, so much of it would come down to how much he'd want elsewhere and how much he'd be willing to accept to stay in Pittsburgh.

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