How Much Insurance Would Damien Woody Provide?

As Ryan noted yesterday, there are indications the Jets will bring back Damien Woody after the lockout. Woody would presumably serve as insurance in case Vladimir Ducasse is not ready to take over as a starter. How much insurance would it be, though?

I never got the impression the Jets cut Woody due to performance issues. There is nothing to suggest this was so. He was playing at a Pro Bowl level in 2010. By my back of the envelope calculations, the team ran for over 5 yards per carry when Woody was involved.

My theory revolved around Woody's Achilles injury sapping him of athleticism, which is important for a tackle. I still find this troublesome. It seems too likely Woody will not be fully healed from this injury in 2011.

There is another potential theory, though. Perhaps the Jets believed Vladimir Ducasse made enough progress during the season that Bill Callahan could mold his natural ability and make him an above average starter over one offseason. Maybe the team felt Woody was still good but felt the $3 million in cap savings would be key with all of the free agents and a young, cheap replacement waiting in the wings. It is usually better to part with a veteran a year too soon than a year too late.

I am hoping the second explanation is the real one.

What do you think of this? How safe would you feel with Woody?

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