Charles Woodson knows a thing or two about a thing or two. The former 18-year NFL player knows about being an elite defensive player and he knows about being unhappy about his contract. In his last couple years in Oakland, they retained him with the franchise tag, which he was not happy about. He would eventually get the long term deal he desired, but it was with the Green Bay Packers.
The always outspoken Woodson supports his former teammate Khalil Mack in his holdout for an extension, with a caveat.
“You guys watched Khalil the last three years. You watched him on the field, you watched him grow as a player, you watched him win defensive player of the year. He’s a young guy that’s trying to get paid and I don’t fault any man for that,” said Woodson.
“Now, every team’s going to have their limits of what they feel they can do and what they won’t don. You have to navigate that. He’s a smart enough guy, he’ll figure it out. Where does he take it from here? I’m sure his agents have talked to the team and the team has responded and they probably put their offers in and counteroffers and the whole nine. We are where we are right now. But for him he’s gotta figure it out.”
Woodson recently spoke with Mack and gave him some advice based on his experience holding out of camp.
“I just told him, ‘Whenever you come back. I don’t know what happens with your deal, if you get a new deal or if you’re playing on the same deal, when you come back come back ready.’
“The time that I spent when I sat out the camp I made sure that when I came back I was in tip-top condition. It’s always different once you put the pads on and you’re hitting and you have to get down and you get knocked down and you have to get back up, bumps and bruises, that’s different. But as far as coming back and being able to play a whole game and being able to run around, I was able to do that. My advice to him is whatever you do, it doesn’t matter when you come back, when you come back be ready. You don’t want anybody saying anything crazy about your conditioning and all of this sort of thing. Come back ready. I think he’ll do well in that respect.”
I don’t think there’s a single person who doubts Mack will be in his usual shape when he returns. Whenever that might be.