When Charles Woodson arrived at Raiders HQ on Tuesday to make his visit, he was greeted by hundreds of fans. Many of them were wearing Woodson's #24 jersey from his first stint as a Raider. When Woodson greeted fans he held up a kid-size replica #24. It's obvious that both Woodson and the fan base have an emotional attachment to that number. The only question is, will Woodson wear it again as a Raider?
Currently that number is taken by another cornerback free agent acquistion -- Tracy Porter. During his conference call today with our fearless leader Levi Damien, Woodson had this to say about the idea of trying to talk Porter out of his former jersey number:
"We'll definitely have to have that conversation," said Woodson. "We haven't had it yet. Raider Nation has me back but I don't know if they'll have me back without the 24 on my back."
The number 24 is also very well known among Raiders fans as having been the number of Hall of Famer, Willie Brown who has been a defensive assistant with the Raiders for many years, including Woodson's first eight years on the team.
"It had been a while since I had seen Willie Brown," Woodson continued. "He is one of my favorite people ever. It was great to see him and give him a big hug. We always joke about who the real 24 is. It was good to have that bark and forth with him. Getting the deal done and calling him and saying, 'Willie Brown, I'm coming back. The real 2-4 is coming back."
It's pretty obvious that Woodson wants to be in the 24 jersey and is determined to get it. He knows it's inexorably entwined with his identity as a Raider at this point. The only thing standing in the way is Tracy Porter and whatever he demands in return for exchanging jersey numbers. Money? A gold Rolex? A lifetime supply of Nutter Butters? It remains to be seen.
From the sounds of it, I will be able to dust off my own #24 Woodson jersey that resides in the darkest reaches of my closet. Get yours ready or if you've grown taller (or wider) since you last wore it, buy a new one! I'm sure the new Woodson Raiders jersey will be a very hot seller this season.