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ALAMEDA – Charles Woodson’s offseason contained a bit more anxiety than he prefers. It took him longer than expected to re-sign with the Raiders this offseason. He was the 11th Raider signed, more than a week into unrestricted free agency.
Woodson’s wish to remain in silver and black was granted, which kept him in the NFL for what many considered his last lap.
Not so fast, Woodson says. Despite the fact that he’ll be 38 when the season starts, this is not necessarily the free safety’s last season.
“Going off of how I feel health-wise, I’m not looking at this being the last year,” Woodson said after Monday’s OTA session. “I’m going to enjoy every moment of this experience because you never know how it’s going to turn out. You look at what they’ve done here and you see the draft they’ve had – we’re going to be a good team. If that means playing this year and beyond, I’ll be open to it.”
Woodson only wants to play for the Raiders. He didn’t talk to other teams during the free-agency window. He was set on returning to Oakland, and would’ve seriously contemplated retirement if they didn’t bring him back.
“My heart was set on coming back here,” Woodson said. “If that didn’t happen, I would’ve had to weigh those options … If the Raiders weren’t interested, that could’ve been it.”
While he had to wait his turn, Woodson was invigorated by a productive Raiders offseason that brought in an influx of veteran talent and quality defenders through the draft.
He has high expectations for this team even if few others do. He believes, even from what he’s seen at this early stage, that the Raiders are on the cusp of a renaissance.
“We’re trying to bust through the ceiling,” Woodson said. “I look at the team and I feel like I have what I need to get all the way there. Does that happen? Nobody knows. But we have players. Good ones. If we all focus in, our goals will be there for us at the end of the season.”