Charles Woodson Rumors: 49ers Would Be Smart to Sign Aging Star

Jesse Reed@@JesseReed78Correspondent IApril 17, 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

Charles Woodson is reportedly still on the San Francisco 49ers' radar, and he'd be a shrewd addition to the team's loaded defense in 2013. 

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:

Matt Maiocco @MaioccoNBCS

GM Trent Baalke says 49ers are "still interested" in free agent Charles Woodson.

According to Woodson, via NFL Network's Ian Rapoport back on April 5, he hadn't heard from any teams interested in signing him:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

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"

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. 

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. 

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78 


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