Charles Woodson may be a future Hall of Famer. However, coming off a season that saw him miss nine games with a broken collarbone, the 36-year-old will probably continue to have issues with durability moving forward.
Aside from the serious injury, Woodson is also beyond the age that most players genuinely show a decline.
He's obviously a very smart and savvy player, but can the 49ers count on Woodson as the primary replacement for the departed Dashon Goldson?
How would the Charles Woodson signing affect the Niners' status as contenders?
This seems like a bit of a risk for a team fully expecting to contend, and the safety position is so vitally important to the effectiveness of the defense. If Woodson struggles to stay healthy in 2013, it will negatively impact the Niners' bottom line.
San Francisco still has C.J. Spillman locked in for two more years, but if the team was high on him, it wouldn't be seriously interested in Woodson.
If Woodson could stay healthy, he could be a tremendous help as a leader in the locker room and a playmaker on defense. After all, he did have seven interceptions in 2011 and 19 over the last four years.
But he'll turn 37 just after the season starts, and that is an advanced age—even for a guy who has been productive into his 30s like Woodson.
If the signing does take place, Woodson's health will be one of the biggest keys to the team's success or failure in 2013.