There is expected to be a lot of overhaul yet again this off-season for the Raiders with an infusion of free agents and draft picks. One player from last season many current young Raiders would like to see remain as part of the rebuild is Charles Woodson.
"He was a good example of how to handle yourself as an NFL player," said rookie D.J. Hayden of Woodson. "And I appreciate everything he's done for us. Wood's a great guy and I hope he play another year. I hope he comes back, but I don't know. Woodson, man, great player. He's gonna be in the Hall of Fame, I can see it."
Typically rebuilding teams go for getting younger at every position but this could be an exception. The 37-year old Woodson returned to the Raiders, the team with which he spent the first eight seasons of his Hall of Fame career, and has said he would like to return to the team and play one final season.
Often times veterans play past their usefulness and have to be ushered out the door. But Woodson has proven he can still play at a high level and his usefulness extends off the field as well.
"Understanding what I have to do to prepare," said rookie Sio Moore. "That's something that I talked to C Wood about a lot of times since I've been here or since he's been here, I've walked around with a notebook and I want a cheat sheet. ‘I want all the answers because I want to get to your mark'. I always make fun of him, I tell him, I'm not gonna be as good as you, I need to get better than you, and he's like ‘Well, you got a piece of work ahead of you', you know. And it's a good thing that he's always been receptive to me and he's always been receptive to everyone and, you know, he's been a helping hand to where I am today as a person and as a player. I want to take it and build on it because when you get to learn from greatness, it only inspires more greatness. I want to do that for somebody else when my time comes."
"Just being a pro. Just understanding and looking at everything from a professional mindset and understanding that being greatness doesn't happen overnight. He said that to me to, it's something that you gotta work at. And you gotta find something each and every day. He told me you gotta find something different each and every day and . . . you take it and you hone in that craft so that when Sundays come, everything's effortless. And I want to do that and I want to get there so I can put myself in the position to be a fulltime game changer."
Now we know Woodson wants to come back and his teammates want him back. The question is not only if the Raiders want him back, but if the two sides can agree on a contract to have him back.
"What would it take [to re-sign Woodson]? I don't know," Said Dennis Allen. "You'd have to ask Charles. But, yeah, we'd like to have Charles back. Obviously there is a business aspect to this. We'll let the business people handle that."
There will be a whole new crop of rookies next year and having Woodson on his farewell tour with the Raiders could be a very good thing for them and this team.