Charles Woodson has told his agent he wants to play for a Super Bowl contender, if that is the case, the teams in play are the Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, New England Patriots, Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers. Woodson having played for both the AFC and NFC, will need to decide which team he feels most comfortable with. Woodson will most likely come at a bargain, as he understands that a Super Bowl contender is already salary cap strapped. So with six teams to choose from, where will Woodson land? It was a hard choice between the Patriots and 49ers but in the end the 49ers win by default, as I predict the Patriots to land Ed Reed.
The signing of Woodson will in all likelihood signal the end of FS Dashon Goldson. The now seven year veteran will likely not be retained in a cap saving move, to clear some space for the 2009 AP Defensive Player of the Year. A move that would be bittersweet, as Goldson has provided the 49ers with leadership, determination, and heart. However, the NFL is a business, and at the end of the day, someone is going to get hurt, making Goldson the odd man out.
After reviewing the pros and cons, I have identified three reasons why the 49ers might choose Woodson over Goldson. It may not be the most popular move but in the end it could be the right move.
First of all, Woodson would instantly provide credibility as a proven leader. He has the team awards and individual accolades to command the ultimate respect. He is a seven-time All Pro, 2009 AP Defensive Player of the Year, and eight-time Pro Bowl selection. In addition, he won a Super Bowl two years ago, making his Hall of Fame career a slam dunk. Also, his willingness to teach his peers the nuances of the game, from the cornerback position will be invaluable. With young cornerback Chris Culliver experiencing his ups and downs, Woodson would be a great mentor to learn from, as no current cornerback on the Niners roster is worthy of such praise.
Furthermore, Woodson would be a perfect fit, because he thrived under Dom Capers 3-4 scheme. Capers utilized Woodson’s strengths and resurrected his career, a trend that should continue if Woodson is used in the right scheme, making the 49ers the perfect fit. Also, with Goldson departing via free-agency, Woodson would also fill the void as the big hitter. Throughout Woodson’s career he has been no stranger to contact, and will make receivers pay if they go across the middle, making Woodson the perfect replacement for Goldson.
But why would Woodson choose San Francisco again? Because the window of opportunity is now! The 49ers are built for the Super Bowl now, and every team across the NFL realizes this. One of the pieces that was missing from this season’s Super Bowl run was veteran leadership. Besides, Randy Moss, Jonathan Goodwin, David Akers, and Clark Haggans no other player had prior Super Bowl experience, and that needs to change. I’m not asking the Niners to go sign every single free-agent with Super Bowl experience, but instead make smart, educated, and calculated decisions with every player they acquire.
Whether the 49ers sign Woodson or not, is still unknown. However, I think it is too much of a coincidence that Goldson has yet to receive an offer sheet from the 49ers, as I believe the 49ers are holding out in time for Woodson. A bold move by General Manager Trent Baalke, I believe he will let Goldson walk, all while trying to bring Woodson back to the bay. A very similar situation to the Alex Smith and Peyton Manning controversy last year.