Charles Woodson might return to the Bay Area after all. San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke noted that the 49ers are still interested in Woodson, according to CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco.
Woodson has garnered little to no interest on the free agent market since his release from the Green Bay Packers earlier this offseason. San Francisco remains the only team Woodson has visited with this offseason, though the visit took place in mid-March.
The 49ers lost Dashon Goldson to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency and have yet to replace him. Woodson constitutes a downgrade from Goldson, but he still is an experienced defensive back -- and he's likely better than Craig Dahl, who is slated to start opposite Donte Whitner.
Woodson was limited to just seven games in 2012 after suffering a broken collarbone in October. Woodson finished the season with 38 tackles, 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one interception.
Green Bay released Woodson in effort to reduce its payroll. Woodson was owed $10 million in salary and roster bonuses in 2013, and the Packers decided Woodson wasn't worth such a gaudy price tag. Woodson spent seven years with the Packers and was named to the All-Pro team four times with Green Bay. Woodson won the 2009 Defensive Player of the Year award, but he has seen his play decline in recent years.
Woodson was drafted by the Oakland Raiders with the No. 4 overall pick of the 1998 NFL Draft. He spent the first eight years of his career with the Raiders, with perhaps his most memorable moment coming in the famous Tuck Rule game. Woodson appeared to strip-sack Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, but the play was later ruled an incomplete pass -- and New England went on to win the game.
Entering his age 37 season, Woodson will likely have to accept a team-friendly deal from the 49ers -- or any other team in the NFL. A return to the Bay Area on a contending team would be a fitting bookend for his career.