The prodigal son has returned.
After eight years away from the Bay Area, veteran Charles Woodson has re-signed with the Oakland Raiders and is ready to help the silver and black return to relevance. The first thing on his to-do list will be to provide leadership to the Raiders’ young group of defensive backs.
With a promising cornerback in D.J. Hayden coming in as a first-round pick and plenty of budding safeties on the roster, it’ll be up to Woodson to help the Raiders get the most of their crop of young defensive backs. Seeing as he’ll likely slide into the free safety spot across from Tyvon Branch, Woodson should have plenty of time to help mold young safeties like Usama Young into quality playmakers.
Evidenced by his Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2009, Woodson still has something left in the tank. The 15-year NFL veteran has shined for the Green Bay Packers over the past few seasons when he hasn’t been nursing an injury of some sort. Assuming he can get healthy and stay there, Woodson should be more than just a mentor for the Raiders in 2013 as their starting free safety.
Training camp will also offer Woodson the opportunity to shake off some of the rust after missing the last nine games of the 2012 regular season due to a fractured collarbone. He returned for the Packers’ playoff run, but could use a refresher as he enters his 37-year-old season.
The Raiders pulled off arguably one of the most underrated free agent signings this offseason when they snagged Woodson. It’s a huge morale boost for one of the worst rosters in the NFL and shows that GM Reggie McKenzie is ready and willing to make impact moves.
It brings Woodson back to the team that first brought him into the league back in 1998 and gives the fans something to get excited about with the Raiders’ 2013 campaign shrouded in uncertainty.
You have to admit… Woodson looks good back in silver and black.