The Pro Football Hall of Fame isn't like the Baseball Hall of Fame in which a player must choose a team to identify himself with when being enshrined. But Charles Woodson told a radio station in Milwaukee Wisconsin Friday morning that when it comes his time to be enshrined in those hallowed halls in Canton, his intention is to go in as a Raider.
"I'm an Oakland Raider now. That's kind of the way I look at it," said Woodson when asked whether he would enter the Hall of Fame as a Packer or a Raider. "My whole plan was... to retire a Green Bay Packer. There was no thought of me ever leaving the Green Bay Packers. Life throws curve balls sometimes and you gotta take the plate. So, now I'm back with the Oakland Raiders and I don't foresee myself playing for any other team after that. If I play this year, maybe play next year, who knows, when it comes that time, I'm going probably with the last team I played for."
Woodson received a one-year deal from the Raiders. He will turn 37 in October when most NFL careers are long over. Injuries have piled up for him the past few seasons, most notably having broken his collarbone twice, including last season which cost him nine games.
The switch to safety last was made to try and prolong his career but safeties are asked to do more hitting and tackling than corners so the injury questions will continue. As he said, he would like to play more than one season and his health will play a large part in whether he will be able to do so.
"I see myself coming in and making an impact. There's a lot of talk about me as a player and now I can't do this, can't do that, but I don't see it that way and maybe I delusional but I don't think so. I look at myself coming in and making an impact, making a lot of plays."
The hope for the Raiders is to get at least one good season out of him. His base salary is a very manageable $1.38 million with playing time incentives that max out at $4 million. This protects the Raiders should Woodson not finish the season.
Even without taking a snap, Woodson has already played more season in Oakland (8) than in Green Bay (7) and would retire in Oakland as well. He had plenty of playoff success with both team including trips to the Super Bowl as a Raider and as a Packer. He was finally able to get his ring as a Packer two seasons ago.
The one big difference is what uniform he will be wearing when the music stops. And at this point, it looks to be his old/new #24 Raiders jersey.