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Charles Woodson: Potential role and roster implications

Even though a deal has yet to be reached with Charles Woodson, let's take a look at the role he would play as a Bronco and what that means for the overall roster numbers on the team.


Charles Woodson would be utilized in the 4-2-5 package as a hybrid safety. Think of Jim Leonard's role last season in dime situations. The exception here is that Woodson would also take snaps away from Mike Adams in nickel situations which Jim Leonard didn't really do in 2012. Currently, the Broncos lack that hybrid safety, and while Kayvon Webster might be the answer long term, he is still a rookie and developmental project. Quenton Carter could possibly fill that role but he is also coming off of injury. People also forget that while Quenton Carter started off TC alongside Rahim Moore as a starter, he was beaten out by Mike Adams and played more of a special teams role before being hurt early on during the season.

Mike Adams is a fine box safety good in run support. His route recognition in zone is terrible though. Too many coverage breakdowns plagued the Broncos secondary at times in 2012 and Mike Adams was part of the issue. In fact, if you go back and check my breakdown of the Broncos covering TE, you'll find that Mike Adams gave up a QB Rating of 117.2 when targeted by a T (18-29, 201 yards, and 3 TD's--no picks). Simply put, while Mike Adams provides decent play and veteran leadership, he can also be upgraded in coverage and that is something Charles Woodson provides immediately.

Who's on the bubble if Woodson signs?

Let's first start by listing the locks at the safety position. Rahim Moore is a lock, Charles Woodson is a lock, and David Bruton is a lock. Last season the Broncos kept 10 defensive backs and were split 5-5 as far as corners and safeties. If they stay true to that the roster spot in contention will be that 5th CB spot (with the 5 safeties being Moore, Adams, Woodson, Bruton, and Q. Carter). The CB pecking order will be Champ, DRC, Harris, Carter, and Bolden/Webster. It would most likely be a three way competition between Carter, Bolden, and Webster for that fifth spot with Bolden and Webster holding the upper hand as players who were drafted within the past two seasons.

If however, the Broncos like their depth at CB and want to keep all of them (and this would be my preference), Quenton Carter is the odd man out. Mike Adams is too valuable as a potential backup if someone goes down due to injury which I can't say for Bruton or Q. Carter. I think this training camp is a put up or shut up moment for Q. Carter. If the Broncos were to keep 6 CB remember that Kayvon Webster is one of those flex players that could probably fill in both spots if necessary....same with Charles Woodson so the secondary would still have a lot of flexibility going forward.

Now that you've heard my take, what's yours?