Charles Woodson Inks Oakland Raiders Extension


December 21, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders free safety Charles Woodson (24) celebrates after an interception against the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

After claiming during the 2014 season that he would like to extend his career with the Oakland Raiders, safety Charles Woodson made that wish a reality on Monday afternoon by signing an extension with the team to return to the franchise for the 2015 NFL season.

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Woodson, who is 38 years old, decided that he will add to his legacy as one of the best defensive backs of his era after a strong 2014 with the Raiders where he was one of the NFL’s best safeties. Providing a physical presence with his typically strong tackling, Woodson posted his highest interception total since switching from cornerback to safety with four this past season, playing at a high level likely factoring in the decision to continue his NFL career.

Like his past two contracts with the Raiders it is expected that Woodson will be signing a one year deal with the team, standard considering that the Oakland legend could hang up the cleats after each passing season as he nears 40. Raiders legend Willie Brown was on hand for the contract signing to formerly commit Woodson for another year with the team, as was starting quarterback Derek Carr to take in the historic event.

Despite being the oldest starting safety in the NFL, Woodson has plenty to offer the Raiders as witnessed during a 2014 season where the veteran managed to improve his play based on his 2013 numbers. Increasing his interceptions while continuing to make big plays in the open field as a tackler, Woodson didn’t miss a beat and was once again the Raiders best safety with Tyvon Branch continuing to be an injury prone talent for the team. Woodson’s health was another factor in his return, with the health of the 38 year old still remaining good enough to keep him playing the game he loves at a high level.

Retaining their best safety from the 2014 season and a locker room leader, the Raiders move to keep Woodson around is more than just a PR one for the team. Based on his stats it can be easily argued that Woodson will be a starting caliber safety once again at age 39, something that should help anchor the Raiders secondary with an on-field leader that has achieved everything there is to achieve in the game. With the goal of restoring the Raiders legacy in mind, Woodson will be back in what could be a final season in Oakland for the Raiders.

If this is a farewell tour in 2015, expect there to be plenty of standing ovations for the man who has represented the franchise at the highest level since their relocation back to Oakland better than anyone save for potentially Tim Brown and Rich Gannon. Woodson is going to be back for 16 more games and there isn’t one Raider fan out there who isn’t ecstatic about the news that the legend will be suiting up once again for Oakland.