Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area reported on Wednesday that team general manager Trent Baalke hasn't ruled out signing the aging star in 2013:
GM Trent Baalke says 49ers are "still interested" in free agent Charles Woodson.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) April 17, 2013
According to Woodson, via NFL Network's Ian Rapoport back on April 5, he hadn't heard from any teams interested in signing him:
Charles Woodson says on @nfl_am he hasn't heard from Ravens "or anyone else, for that matter" in FA. Acknowledges he's considered "ancient"— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 5, 2013
Woodson further elaborated on the lack of interest in his services around the NFL in an interview with 790 The Zone in Atlanta, saying his experience this year is much like the one he had back in 2006 when he didn't receive any interest except from the Green Bay Packers.
The 49ers already signed Nnamdi Asomugha to a one-year deal worth $1.775 million, which is a veritable act of thievery by Baalke (in a good way).
Baalke won't sign Woodson unless he convinces Woodson to sign a similar deal, as the 49ers are more focused on re-signing their young players than handing out big contracts to free agents.
By floating out the rumor that the 49ers are still interested in signing Woodson, Baalke is setting the stage for such a signing.
There's no doubt Woodson can still play at a high level. Even at the age of 36, he has enough speed and agility to make game-changing plays in the secondary—both deep in coverage and near the line of scrimmage.
Teams thought Woodson was washed up after he had a down year for the Oakland Raiders in 2005.
He ended up becoming one of the most dynamic defensive players in the NFL during his tenure with the Packers, including a 2009 campaign that earned him the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year award.
Should the 49ers sign Woodson for the 2013 season?
Woodson won't likely return to that level of dominance, but he is still a player capable of making a positive impact.
The 49ers will undoubtedly select a safety or two in this year's draft, regardless of whether or not Woodson signs. It would be a smart move to have Woodson on the roster to show those rookies how to play at the highest level.
This is a deal Baalke must find a way to make. Woodson has no other suitors at this time, and he's ripe for the picking.
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