As several NFL veterans call it a career, Charles Woodson has no plans on being one of them, at least not this year. The veteran defensive back has certainly had a prolific career as a secondary star, but age and injuries have hurt that reputation in recent years. Currently set to become a free agent once again, Woodson plans on giving the NFL one more year.
Woodson got a homecoming in 2013. The defensive back returned to the Oakland Raiders after a career with the Green Bay Packers. He started all 16 games, playing 1,098 of the team's 1,105 defensive snaps. He forced three fumbles. He recorded an interception. He finished the season ranked as the 28th-best safety in the league. Not back for a 37-year-old who has played 17 seasons in the NFL. After his friend and former teammate Nnami Asomugha retired earlier this offseason, Woodson says he will play one more season before calling it career.
Woodson is hopeful to play one more season in the NFL and he hopes it is with the Oakland Raiders. The team gave him a one-year deal last year and could do the same again this offseason. The interest is there on both sides and head coach Dennis Allen believes a deal will get done to keep Woodson for his final season.
"I definitely think he's got something left in the tank," Allen said, via ESPN.com. "Obviously, when you get to that age, you never know when the tank's going to empty out. I felt like he brought a lot to the table for our football team this past season. I think he's a guy we'd like to hopefully bring back. There's a business side to anything that you do, but I thought from a leadership perspective and really from a playing perspective, I thought he brought a lot to the table."
If a deal with the Raiders does not work out, could Woodson return to Green Bay where he played seven seasons while being selected to four Pro Bowls and winning Defensive Player of the Year back in 2009. He does hold the franchise record for most defensive touchdowns and most interception returns for touchdowns. However, Woodson is not expecting to be back with the Packers next year.
"I don't think that's going to happen," Woodson said in an iMessage to ESPN.com. "I definitely plan on playing. But I think the Packers already have plenty of safeties. LOL."
The Packers might have safeties, but they are not that productive. The group failed to record an interception and did not force a fumble. So while they might have five safeties that played last season, Woodson was the better player.
Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie noted at the scouting combine that the Raiders were very hopeful to bring back Woodson again. He praised the veteran for his leadership amongst a group of young players and believes Woodson can still be a valuable member on the roster.