Charles Woodson signs with Raiders

Andy Lyons

The veteran safety is on his way back to Oakland.

Safety Charles Woodson signed a one-year deal with the Oakland Raiders on Tuesday, the team officially announced. Woodson visited with the Raiders early Tuesday, a few days after a visit with the Denver Broncos, during which Woodson was reportedly offered a contract.

Woodson, 36, is entering his 16th season in the NFL. He was one of the top remaining free agents still on the market, and was considered by many to be the last safety worth targeting for a starting role.

It's unclear what kind of contract Woodson received, but he did start out free agency with the intention of signing with a playoff contender. The Broncos are definitely a contender, and are counted among the NFL's best teams. Presumably, Woodson would have accepted that offer if it matched what the Raiders were offering, but given the level of interest in Oakland, it's likely they offered more.

That, or it's that same level of interest that made the decision easier for Woodson. As noted at Silver and Black Pride, the Raiders have a big need for Woodson, and they showed it on Tuesday:

There were fans lined along the driveway for about a hundred yards ready to welcome home the All Pro and former 8-year Raider cornerback, Charles Woodson. I would estimate 200 plus were in attendance. They hope to show him the kind of support that will get the free agent to sign with the team.

The news initially was that he would arrive around 2pm. He arrived from the airport in the front passenger seat of a black SUV. Fans recognized him immediately and mobbed the SUV as it pulled up to the gate. He smiled and waved and eventually pulled into the drive.

Woodson spent his first eight seasons in the NFL with the Raiders, before signing with the Green Bay Packers prior to the 2006 season. He recently made the conversion from cornerback to safety, and has excelled there despite slowing down with age. It's likely he'll be given an opportunity to win a starting role as a safety in Oakland.

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