Free agent defensive back Charles Woodson is returning to the Oakland Raiders as Jay Glazer of FOXSports.com reports that the 36-year-old has agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the team that selected him with the fourth overall pick of the 1998 NFL draft.
Woodson, who won the 1997 Heisman Trophy while at the University of Michigan, was the 1998 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and was named to four Pro Bowls during his eight-year stint with the Raiders. Woodson joined the Green Bay Packers in 2006 and in seven seasons Woodson would twice lead the NFL in interceptions (2009, 2011). Woodson was named to four Pro Bowl squads and earned Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2009 before he was moved to safety during a 2012 season where he would nine games with a broken clavicle.
On Feb. 15, the Packers released Woodson and the two years and $20 million that remained on his contract. Woodson drew interest recently from the Denver Broncos and Detroit Lions. With Woodson at the tail end of his career, and the Broncos primed for playoff success, the prevailing sentiment was that the Raiders and Lions, two teams with salary cap room, were being used by Woodson's camp as leverage against the Broncos, who are nearly $10 million under the cap, in contract negotiations. Fans in Oakland were quite vocal about wanting their team to re-sign Woodson and turned out in large numbers to greet Woodson when he arrived at the team's headquarters for his visit.
By re-signing with the Raiders, Woodson not only returns to where his NFL career started, but he will be able to keep closer tabs on his Napa Valley winery, TwentyFour Wines.
Last week, the Denver Broncos and quarterback Peyton Manning agreed to a renegotiated contract with the primary intent on adding insurance language for the 2014 season. The new contract, which was originally reported by Mike Klis of The Denver Post, was initially believed to have no cash or salary cap implications, but that was not the case, a source with knowledge of the contract details confirmed to "Shutdown Corner".
Under the new terms of the contract, Manning will still earn the $40 million in guaranteed money over the next two seasons, but the payouts of those amounts has been tweaked.
Instead of earning $20 million in fully guaranteed base salaries in 2013 and 2014, Manning received a $10 million salary advance and his base salaries in 2013 and 2014 have been lowered to $15 million in each season. The $10 million salary advance is treated like a signing bonus and will be prorated over the next four seasons, reducing Manning's cap number from $20 million to $17.5 million in both 2013 and 2014.
However, the downside to the cap savings the next two seasons is that Manning's cap number will increase by $2.5 million, going from $19 million to $21.5 million, in both 2015 and 2016 as the Broncos will have veered, slightly, from the "pay as you go" approach they had been taking with the 37-year-old quarterback.
With $2.5 million in additional cap space from the Manning renegotiation, the Broncos are now $9.9 million under their 2013 adjusted cap number of $139.76 million. That leaves plenty of room to land defensive back Charles Woodson, whose other suitors — the Oakland Raiders and Detroit Lions — each have less than $3 million in 2013 cap space remaining.
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