The Raiders organization and fans successfully wooed DB Charles Woodson back to the Silver & Black yesterday. Woodson, who was drafted by Oakland fourth-overall in the 1998 NFL Draft, spent eight years playing for Oakland before leaving for Green Bay in 2006. He had had tepid interest, at best, early in free agency but his market had heated up in recent days with a visit to Denver as well as the NY Giants and Panthers expressing some level of interest.
Woodson had come to the Raiders’ Alameda, CA headquarters yesterday and was greeted outside the facility by an estimated 100 fans in full Raiders gear. The rally, organized by some motivated Raiders fans, got the attention of many in the organization including FB Marcel Reece, QB Matt Flynn and head coach Dennis Allen, who stopped on their way out of the facility to sign autographs.
Woodson, 36, signed a one year deal with the Raiders. The terms are reportedly a $1 million base salary, plus a $700,000 signing bonus. The contract is worth up to $4.3 million if all incentives are met. As a practical matter, contracts’ incentives are never fully met so while he may make more than the $1.7M bottom of the contract, he is extremely unlikely to get the full $4.3M.
The Raiders are believed to be interested in Woodson as a free safety, a move that he’s acknowledged in interviews this offseason that he was likely to make regardless of the team with which he signed.
The signing of Woodson, a decorated cornerback for his entire career, is a reminder of another Woodson the Raiders signed at the tail-end of his career, Rod Woodson, who was signed by Al Davis in 2002.
Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie can only hope that Charles Woodson’s 2013 will be as good as Rod’s first season in Silver and Black. Rod Woodson ended the 2002 campaign having played in all 16 games and ended with 82 total tackles, 3 fumble recoveries and a whopping 8 interceptions. He also had 2 defensive TDs.
Charles Woodson, like Rod, should be able to make a seamless transition to safety. He still has the athleticism to be able to range the field and he understands the nuances of the game and how to play in the secondary. He is also a ball-hawk and has 55 interceptions in his career with 11 defensive touchdowns.
his previous time in Oakland, he sometimes exhibited poor work ethics in practices but reportedly he grew up substantially in his time in Green Bay and should be able to serve as a mentor to the mostly-young Oakland secondary. He has the credibility of having been a starter for the Super Bowl winning Packers and having an especially long NFL career.
The Raiders team is lacking outspoken leaders who will keep the younger players in line. Woodson helps fill a role as a very vocal player and leader, something the secondary can definitely use.
Woodson will likely join the team soon to dive into the currently ongoing Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and begin to get back into football shape after only playing in 7 games in 2012.
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