Charles Woodson is giving Energizer batteries a run for their money. The Oakland Raiders free safety believes he can play in the NFL beyond this season, which marks his 17th professional campaign. Woodson told CSNBayArea.com on Monday:
“Going off of how I feel health-wise, I’m not looking at this being the last year. I’m going to enjoy every moment of this experience because you never know how it’s going to turn out. You look at what they’ve done here and you see the draft they’ve had – we’re going to be a good team. If that means playing this year and beyond, I’ll be open to it.”
Woodson was on the field for all but seven of a total 1,105 defensive snaps last year according to Pro Football Focus. The 37-year-old switched from cornerback to free safety in 2012, a move that extended his shelf life like forerunners Ronnie Lott, Aeneas Williams and Rod Woodson (no relation).
A position change can only do so much to mask declining skills, however, as Woodson was a stride slow to the ball on more than few occasions in 2013. His instincts remain sharp, but the seven-time All-Pro’s health will inevitably deteriorate, in large part to the punishment which is run support.
But Woodson has found new life in his second East Bay stint, and his comments bode well for his 2014 showing. Scott Bair of CSNBayArea.com reported that the future Hall of Famer has no interest playing for another team, so it may lay in general manager Reggie McKenzie’s hands whether Woodson stays past this year. If it’s up to Raiders fans, he’ll stick around until the Coliseum grid short-circuits.
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