Better a few days late than never on this post in particular. I just want to say that I’ve never been so proud of a fan base like the Oakland Raiders have until Tuesday, when former CB Charles Woodson visited Raiders HQ to discuss signing back with the squad and over 100 Raider Nation fans showed up to show their support and to welcome Woodson home. And guess what? Showing Woodson that he will never be loved by any other fan base as much as ours actually paid off.
From the official press release on the team’s website:
Free agent defensive back Charles Woodson has rejoined the Oakland Raiders, the team with which he began his professional career in 1998, General Manager Reggie McKenzie announced Tuesday.
Woodson, a veteran of 15 NFL seasons, is an eight-time Pro Bowler, including selections each of his first four seasons in Oakland and four of his last five seasons with the Green Bay Packers.
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound defensive back has played in 206 career games with 203 starts, and ranks second among active players with 55 interceptions. His career totals also include 17 sacks, 24 forced fumbles and 11 interceptions returned for touchdowns, which is second-most in NFL history.
The Raiders made Woodson the fourth overall selection in the 1998 NFL Draft following a record-setting career at Michigan. He was the recipient of the 1997 Heisman Trophy, becoming the first predominantly defensive player to win the award.
Woodson was signed to a one-year, $4.8 million contract (incentives in) with a minimum of a $700K signing bonus. In my eyes, this contract is perfect and does not insult Woodson’s tenure/accomplishments in this league. Reportedly, the Raiders only offered $600K total more than the Denver Broncos, who hosted Woodson the Thursday previous.
I can’t tell you all what this signing means to me personally, but know that I’ve slept in my #24 Raiders home jersey three nights in a row since it happened. Woodson is one of my favourite all-time Oakland Raiders and he is also part of the reason I’m a Michigan Wolverines fan. It really is a thing of beauty watching his amazing career come full circle the way it happens to be. I saw many tweets on Tuesday night when the news broke from fans around the league who were baffled at even the thought of Charles Woodson choosing Oakland over any other team, but even though he won his Super Bowl in Green Bay, he was a Raider from Day 1. Why wouldn’t you want to finish off your career in a town where you are absolutely beloved and admired to the fullest extent?
Dr. Death, an Oakland Raiders super fan and very well known in the Bay Area, posted a picture similar to this one with himself in front captioned, “Can/does your fan base do this?”
Also, this quote that Paul Gutierrez of CSN Bay Area picked up also spoke volumes of Woodson’s feelings for Oakland and how he was able to make his decision the way that he did: