Charles Woodson

There’s been quite a bit of speculation that safety Charles Woodson and the $10 million he’s due won’t be with the Green Bay Packers in 2013. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, for one, is publicly saying he would like to see Woodson back.

Rodgers addressed the issue on his weekly radio show on WAUK-AM (540) in Milwaukee, on Tuesday.

“I know he is under contract and that he is an important part of our football team,” Rodgers said. “I think he adds a lot. He is still playing at a really high level. He’s very intelligent and sets a good example in preparation. He’s always watching film. He did a great job, especially with guys like Sam Shields and Tramon (Williams) a couple of years back. He kind of took them under his wing. Now Tramon is carrying on that tradition. . . . Having his presence around the locker room really helps, setting an example for the young guys. It helps me out, as far as being the leader.”

We’ve talked a lot about this situation recently and there are plenty pros and cons.

Pros: great leader, great mentor, still solid against the run

Cons: not so solid in coverage anymore, 36 years old, due $10 million in 2013

The glaring issue is that last one. The Packers don’t have a lot of money laying around right now and they want to extend guys like Rodgers, Clay Matthews and B.J. Raji.

Rodgers alone is going to get a $10 million bump per season — he’s currently scheduled to make $10.25 million in 2013. That number puts him at about half of what guys like Peyton Manning ($19 million) and Drew Brees ($20 million) average per season.

In a certain way, it’s ironic that Rodgers is saying he wants Woodson back. If the Packers do indeed release Woodson, they’ll be doing so primarily so they can give Rodgers more money. And we bet when he signs that fat new deal Rodgers won’t be saying, “Gee. I wish Charles Woodson were here for this.”

On the positive side for Woodson, Rodgers’ contract isn’t an immediate issue. His deal lasts for two more seasons. However, he is grossly underpaid when compared to other elite signal callers.

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