Shortly after announcing he’ll be doing anything to remain in the NFL, it looks like Charles Woodson might get his 2013 wish come true. The Oakland Raiders have already offered him a contract, while the Carolina Panthers have been in touch with his agent and the Denver Broncos are bringing him in for a visit.
And this is where Woodson wanted to be – with options. The San Francisco 49ers looked like the only team slightly interested in him during the whole free agency process after he was released by the Green Bay Packers; Woodson was due to make $9 million in 2013, and there was no way the Packers, or any other team, was going to give him that kind of money for being a 36-year old safety who missed more than half of last season, even if he has the kind of All-Pro, Pro-Bowl and Super Bowl resume most players would die for.
Woodson initially hoped a contender might pick him up, and that is why he’s stalling on the offer the Raiders are giving him. If they would have been the only team in the picture, Woodson wouldn’t have been thinking much. The Broncos might be the strongest team in the AFC going into next season, and Woodson is probably willing to play less and for less money if he’ll be a part of a Super Bowl thinking team.
The Panthers seem to be in the right direction, but their secondary situation is quite awful, and bringing in Woodson, who’ll be playing as either a safety or nickel-back won’t improve it by much. Still, they have a shot in the reshaping NFC South to make some noise, although the Atlanta Falcons and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers look like early favorites in that division.
The Raiders have been a mess for years, and each season of promise and hope to turn the team around ends up going back to square one. Woodson has played for them during better days, but will find himself in the bay area again only if all other options fall.