The bad news for those hoping the San Francisco 49ers sign future Hall of Fame defensive back Charles Woodson? He doesn’t sound all that happy with the 49ers’ level of interest a few weeks ago (translation: they didn’t offer him much money). The good news? There’s still a decent chance he ends up signing with San Francisco after all. It might take a while, though.
Woodson went on NFL AM this morning (duh), and he sounded like someone who’s smart enough to know where he stands but confident enough not to get desperate and take just any old offer (I put the comments in bold that I found most interesting):
On what he can bring to an NFL team:
“I am a football player. I am not a corner, I am not a safety; I am just a guy that can play football. You can put me in anywhere on that field, in any situation, and I am going to get it done. I call myself ‘Seasoning Salt:’ You can put me in anything and I will make it better. I am just waiting on an opportunity.”
On if he is in serious talks with any team:
“Nothing substantial; I am just waiting around. We put feelers out and there isn’t much right now. Just being patient. I went through this one time… coming out of Oakland. I am in that same situation now. Just have to be a little patient. I will land somewhere and help somebody win.”
On if he could return to Green Bay or replace S Ed Reed in Baltimore:
“I can’t really speculate because I haven’t heard anything from Baltimore or really anyone else for that matter. Until I hear something, I can’t really even answer that question.”
On a number of veteran NFL players still available in free agency:
“That just how it goes with older guys in the NFL. I am 36 years old, so, of course, I am considered ancient in the game right now. If you are an older guy, they kind of push you to the side and maybe they will look at you later down the road and when they figure they can get you much cheaper than what you are asking for. I don’t worry too much about it right now.”
On the possibly of joining the San Francisco 49ers:
“I was up there three or four weeks ago and they let me get out of there, so that wasn’t a good sign so I don’t know if that is going to happen or not.”
The phrase “so you’re telling me there’s a chance” from Dumb and Dumber is probably an overused one, but it applies here. Woodson pretty much admitted that the 49ers were the only team to show any interest at all, and he’s being patient. However, patience in this case could mean retirement. The 49ers don’t have a lot of cap space and have shown an unwillingness to go above whatever dollar amount they slotted for a particular player before free agency began, and they are in a position of great strength since they’re a Super Bowl contender with a ton of picks in a safety-rich draft.
Here’s an idea: since the 49ers are reaching out to all kinds of corporations in hopes of getting stuff sponsored at their new stadium in Santa Clara, maybe they can also reach out to Morton Salt or McCormick. Perhaps if the 49ers come to Woodson with the same offer, plus set up a commercial deal for Woodson with one of America’s top seasoned salt producers, the combined funds would be enough to convince him to sign.