Charles Woodson's pending contract extension brought to mind his revealing comments in an ESPN.com profile last season. As Jeffri Chadiha wrote, Woodson initially was angry, insulted and discouraged that the Green Bay Packers were the only team expressing interest during his 2006 foray into the free agent market.
Woodson"... I kept thinking was that I was not coming to Green Bay," Woodson said. "That wasn't going to happen."
Even after agreeing to the Packers' offer, Woodson said: "I didn't really talk to anybody." He added:
"I talked to the defensive backs because that's who I was working with but I was still caught up in the fact that nobody wanted me except Green Bay. I thought I wasn't supposed to be in Green Bay. I was supposed to have my pick of teams and I thought that wasn't right."
But as it turned out, Woodson has done nothing short of transformed his career in Green Bay. By simply bearing down and going to work, he shed a reputation (deserved or otherwise) as a malcontent, allowing his skills to be viewed purely on their merits. His 2009 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award was a career achievement based on both a remarkable year and a culmination of building respect for his NFL game.
The extension will add two more years to his deal, meaning the Packers will have him under contract through the 2014 season. It is both a reward for elite play and a symbol of how far Woodson's career -- and life -- have come.