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Woodson's Tuesday visit to Raiders raises possibilities

The SportsXchange

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- A soft market has Charles Woodson considering something he wouldn't have dreamed of a few months ago -- finishing his career where he started it.

When the Green Bay Packers released Woodson following the season, he initially said he was looking for a contender for a chance at one last Super Bowl ring.

But with few teams in the market for a 36-year-old safety who's had two broken collarbones in the past three seasons, Woodson has changed his stance.

"When this process first started out, that was my thing. I wanted to be on a contender," Woodson told the NFL Network. "I know I'm getting toward the end of my career. But at this point, I want to play football. If it's a rebuilding stage at this point, and that's the circumstances that I have to play under, then that's what I'm going to do."

Woodson's agent told the NFL Network his client would visit the club's Alameda facility on Tuesday. Fans have begun to mount a campaign on social media to greet Woodson and convince him to return to the Raiders, where he was a standout cornerback.

Over the weekend at a benefit for the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital at the University of Michigan, Woodson discussed the possibility of returning to Oakland with reporters.

"It would be a really big thing to go back to Oakland, being that I played there most of my career," Woodson said. "I played there eight years and Green Bay seven. So I spent most of my career in Oakland, and I still have a lot of friends there. I still know people in the organization. It would be a homecoming of sorts if it were to happen, so we'll see."

Woodson also has a relationship with Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie, who was a personnel executive in Green Bay when Woodson went there as a free agent in 2006.

Since being released by the Packers, Woodson has visited the 49ers and Broncos, but has not come away with a sufficient contract offer. It remains to be seen how much the Raiders are willing to spend.

Michael Huff, who would have returned to free safety as the starter, was instead released by the Raiders when he declined to take a pay cut. The Raiders signed free agent Usama Young in the offseason, and he is currently running with the first team alongside strong safety Tyvon Branch.

"I don't fit into one particular scheme," Woodson said. "I can play the game of football and it really doesn't matter whether it's man defense, zone, 4-3, 3-4. I can play this game, so that really doesn't matter."

Raiders coach Dennis Allen was non-committal about signing Woodson.

"I want to do anything we can to get this team better," Allen said. "We'll see how the process goes."

Raiders quarterback Matt Flynn, who played four seasons with the Packers before moving on to Seattle last season, endorsed bringing Woodson aboard if the front office thinks it's the right thing to do.

"I've spent four years with Charles. Everybody knows he's a great player, but he's also a great man, a great teammate, a great leader," Flynn said. "The front office is going to make the right decision about what they think is going to be best for us going forward . . . we'll see how it plays out."

Said Branch: "He's a great team, a great competitor. But right now I'm focused about the guys we've got on the field."
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