It was no surprise that veteran safety Charles Woodson re-signed with the Raiders early this offseason. The 38-year old had been dropping not-so-subtle hints at playing an 18th season for months, and a swift resolution was expected.
It came on Jan. 26, in the form of a one-year contract worth $2.8 million plus incentives that could easily push his earnings to $4.2 million.
On Tuesday, he discussed his desire to keep playing and why the decision was so easy.
“You never get football out of your system and I certainly don’t have it out of mine,” Woodson said in an interview with Sirius XM NFL Radio. “You have to sit down and think about the pros and cons. Right now, my biggest con was not playing football anymore. To me, the pros were there.”
Woodson finished 2014 with confidence after totaling 114 tackles, four interceptions and a sack in 1,143 defensive snaps. He grew as a safety – something he credits to secondary coach Marcus Robertson, the only 2014 position coach to be retained by new head coach Jack Del Rio – and showed he can still play at a high level.
That was the biggest “pro” in his desire to play another year.
“When I look at the way I was able to play in my 17th year, I feel like I earned the right to play in the NFL for another one,” Woodson said. “When it came down to it, I feel like I should give it another shot.”
Another pro was that Woodson wanted to be part of a “new era” under Del Rio and hopefully take the Raiders back to the playoffs after a long winter. Woodson has a hall-of-fame resume, and he said only team goals remain at this stage.
“It’s all about the organization,” Woodson said. “We won three games last year and four the year before. This organization hasn’t been to the playoffs since I was here the first time, and it would be the best feeling to come back to the Raiders and help this team get back to the playoffs.”