Charles Woodson's Playmaking Ability Would Be Ideal Fit for San Francisco 49ers

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IMarch 15, 2013

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 30:  Strong safety Charles Woodson #21 of the Green Bay Packers  looks on against the New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field on September 30, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

It would be fitting for All-Pro defensive back Charles Woodson to conclude his NFL career where it began, out west in the Bay Area. 

According to NFL Network studio analyst Akbar Gbajabiamila, Woodson, who was released by the Green Bay Packers last month, and the San Francisco 49ers are in serious talks this offseason:

Update: The @49ers are n serious discussion w/Asomugha and Charles Woodson. Reuniting these 2 in the 2ndary is a major upgrade. #FreeAgency

— Akbar Gbajabiamila (@Akbar_Gbaja) March 15, 2013

With safety Dashon Goldson lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, bringing in Woodson makes tons of sense for the reigning NFC champions. Not only would the veteran fill a need in San Francisco's defensive backfield, but his playmaking ability would be an ideal fit with a defense that only recorded 14 interceptions in 2012 (three of which came via Goldson).

Woodson has picked off 55 passes and forced 29 fumbles since his rookie season with the Oakland Raiders in 1998.

The former Heisman Trophy-winner and AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year is a playmaker above all else. Although there is risk involved with signing Woodson at age 36, just months after he suffered a broken collarbone, the possible reward is too good to pass up if you're Jim Harbaugh, who watched a playmaking safety in Ed Reed make a big play against his team in Super Bowl XLVII last February.

San Francisco is not a team in rebuilding mode, but a legitimate Super Bowl contender that needs to retool this offseason to ensure that it gets back to the big game in 2014. 

Losing Goldson isn't a huge loss for the 49ers, unless they fail to replace him with a proven playmaker this offseason. 

While San Francisco boasts one of the top five defenses in football, it doesn't excel at forcing turnovers. The 49ers ranked ninth among 16 NFC teams last season in takeaways, forcing just 25 in 16 regular-season games.

In Woodson, San Francisco would be bringing in a player who has forced 30 turnovers by himself since the start of the 2009 season. He may have lost a step, but it's difficult to argue that Woodson has lost his knack for changing the game.

If Woodson wants to play for a contender and the Niners want to contend, this move has to happen.

 

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