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Charles Woodson wants to play another NFL season, and he’d like to do so in Oakland. The Raiders have made it clear they want him back.
That doesn’t mean the veteran safety will play for free. Woodson said Thursday that he’d consider retirement if he doesn’t get a fair offer from the silver and black.
“If the right numbers don’t come across for myself and from the team standpoint, it’s a serious consideration, at this point, that I could’ve played my last season in the NFL,” Woodson said in an interview with Sirius XM radio. “That’s something that I think about. I do plan on playing another year. Hopefully something can get done with the Raiders and, if not, I would have to take a hard look at last year being the last one.”
Could there be trouble at the negotiating table?
According to NFLPA documents, Woodson played the 2013 season under an incentive-laden deal ultimately worth $3.3 million. He had a $1.7 million base salary, a $100,000 workout bonus and more money to be earned based on playing time. Woodson played 99.3 percent of the Raiders defensive snaps, which tacked on another $1.5 million for exceeding 90-percent snap threshold.
Woodson’s exact demands are unknown. The 37-year old played well at times and below average at others. He was forced to play as a single-high free safety on most snaps after strong safety Tyvon Branch went down in Week 2, removing his ability to make plays closer to the line of scrimmage.
Woodson was second on the team with 133 tackles. He also had two sacks, interception, eight passes defensed, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He returned one for a touchdown.
Not bad for an old man. Woodson expressed concern that his age weighs heavier in contract talks than his recent play.
“When you get past a certain age, it’s no longer about what you do on the field,” Woodson said. “It’s about your age. They look at the age first and then what you do on the field second. There’s no rush for any team to sign a veteran player. It’s not just a Raiders situation. It’s a league-wide deal.”
Woodson didn’t plan on returning to the Raiders last year. The team’s No. 4 overall pick in 1998 planned on joining a Super Bowl contender, either in Denver or San Francisco. He was wooed back by fan support and financial incentives, and enjoyed his second stint in Oakland.
“I fell in love with playing for the Raiders all over again,” Woodson said. “It was a great ride. I understand where the Raiders are at right now, and I want to be a part of it if possible.
“I’d love to make another playoff run with that team and that city. When you’re winning ball games, there is really no place like it. I’d love to help the silver and black get back to that point.”
Head coach Dennis Allen wants Woodson back, and has no issue with his age.
“I think he’s got something left in the tank,” Allen said last week. “When you get to that age, you never know when the tank’s going to empty out. He brought a lot to the table for our football team this past season. He’s a guy we’d like to bring back. There’s a business side to anything that you do, but I thought that, from a leadership perspective and from a playing perspective, I thought he brought a lot to the table.”
Despite a frustrating 4-12 season and half the starting lineup headed for free agency, Woodson believes the Raiders could make vast improvements with productive offseason.
“There’s a list of things they need to improve and there are some guys they have to re-sign and others they have to get in free agency, but I just don’t see the Raiders as a team that’s far off if they bring the right people in,” he said. “I think D.A. has done a great job with the team and we need the players to get it done.”