Charles Woodson is returning to Oakland for another season.
The veteran defensive back, who spent his first eight NFL seasons with the Raiders, rejoined the Silver and Black in 2013 after seven campaigns with the Green Bay Packers. According to ESPN's Josina Anderson, the two sides have agreed on another one-year contract:
The Raiders made things official on Friday:
Entering his 17th season in the league, the 37-year-old may not be the same player he once was, but there's little question he can still play.
In 2013, Woodson showed flashes of his younger self, playing nearly every snap and recording two sacks, an interception, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and a touchdown.
Still, as he told SiriusXM NFL Radio, via CSN Bay Area, he knew that retirement was at least going to be something he would have to consider:
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.
When you get past a certain age, it’s no longer about what you do on the field. 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.
Nevertheless, the right numbers must have come across, and many fans in Oakland will be thrilled to see the ultimate fan favorite return for another season.
Moreover, as Pro Football Talk's Darin Gantt noted, Woodson can still play a role:
"Woodson bounced back with a solid year, starting every game for the Raiders. And while he might not be an OMG player any longer, he can certainly help a team that’s still trying to build."
Not only will he provide that important veteran leadership to help mentor younger players around him, but his return shores up the back of the defense, sending Brandian Ross back to a reserve role.
With this move, Oakland's defense is beginning to take an intriguing shape.
The Raiders have already added LaMarr Woodley, Justin Tuck, Antonio Smith and Tarell Brown on the defensive side of the ball this season, and with Woodson now back, there's an interesting mix of veteran playmakers and up-and-coming youngsters like D.J. Hayden and Sio Moore.