The Raiders officially announced Friday that they have retained Charles Woodson. It was a tense few weeks for Woodson who had sat down with the Raiders before free agency and the two sides could not come to a deal. He contemplated retirement had the two sides not agreed on a deal for his return. In the end, he signed with the Raiders for one more season.
"Yeah, I was pretty confident it would happen," said Woodson of re-signing with the Raiders. "The last couple weeks I got kind of nervous. I hadn't talked too much to the Raiders. I know they've been busy making a lot of moves so I was getting a little antsy. But I guess in the back of my mind I felt like it would happen so I'm pleased that it did."
The 37-year-old defensive back came to the Raiders last off-season with the hope that he would finish his career where it started. After a season in which he started all 16 games, he felt confident he could play another season and his hope to finish his career in Oakland remained.
"Obviously I didn't want to have to talk to anybody else, so [retirement] would have been a strong consideration had I not come back here," said Woodson. "But the one thing about it is I just feel like I got a lot of football left. That's the one reason why I continue to want to play here with Oakland. And I feel like I have a lot of football left. Of course it would have been a thought. I would have had to go through that process of ‘do I want to go play for another team or if I should hang it up and retire'. Those are things I would have had to think about but I'm glad it got done so I can go ahead and play the game that I love, the game that I can still play at a high level."
The thinking is that this will indeed be his last season in the NFL. But despite another one-year deal with the Raiders, Woodson hasn't closed the door on the idea of playing another season after this one.
"I think at this point, you just take it one year at a time," Woodson continued. "I signed a one-year deal, so that's all I have right now and I just want to make the most of it. At this age, being 37, everyone is looking for me to have a dramatic drop-off in what I do and at the end of the year they think ‘he probably won't play anymore'. So, I'm just taking it one year at a time. I'll do my best to help this team get over the hump and get back into the playoffs. Once that's done, we'll go from there."