Charles Woodson's Age and Health Would Make Him a Risky Signing for 49ers

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIMarch 16, 2013

GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 05:  Safety Charles Woodson #21 of the Green Bay Packers reacts in front of quarterback Joe Webb #14 of the Minnesota Vikings after the Packers stop the Vikings on third down forcing a field goal in the first quarter during the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Lambeau Field on January 5, 2013 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

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.

It seems as if the San Francisco 49ers are at least interested in finding out. Per Akbar Gbaja-Biamila of the NFL Network, the Niners are in a "serious discussion" with the veteran.

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?

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.

You almost wonder whether newly released free agents Bernard Pollard (USA Today) and Kerry Rhodes ( would be safer options for a team with such high expectations.

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.


Follow Brian Mazique and Franchiseplay on YouTube and Twitter for reactions, analysis and news from the world of sports and sports video games.