Safety Charles Woodson signs contract to return to Raiders for 2015 season

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ALAMEDA, California — The Oakland Raiders signed pending free-agent safety Charles Woodson to a one-year contract extension on Monday, bringing him back for an 18th season in the NFL.

The team announced the contract by releasing a picture on Twitter of Woodson signing the deal next to Hall of Fame defensive back Willie Brown. Woodson was eligible to be a free agent in March.

Woodson will turn 39 in October but showed few signs of slowing down in his 17th professional season. He played all 16 games this season and was on the field for a team-high 1,100 snaps, according to STATS LLC. The only defensive back to start a game at age 39 or older is Hall of Famer Darrell Green, who played until he was 42.

Woodson led the Raiders with 160 tackles, including 105 solo tackles and four interceptions. He also added nine passes defensed, one fumble recovery and one sack.

Woodson talked late in the season about wanting to play another year if the Raiders brought back defensive backs coach Marcus Robertson. Woodson credited Robertson for helping improve his play at safety after years as a star cornerback.

Oakland announced last week that Robertson would be part of new coach Jack Del Rio's staff before a defensive coordinator was even hired. That cleared the path for Woodson to sign up for another season as he hopes to help end a streak of 12 straight seasons without a playoff berth.

Woodson originally joined the Raiders as the fourth-overall pick in 1998 following a brilliant college career at Michigan, where he won the Heisman Trophy and led the Wolverines to a share of the national championship in 1997.

He played eight seasons in Oakland before leaving as a free agent to go to Green Bay, where he won the 2009 Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year award and the Super Bowl the following season. He returned to the Raiders in 2013 and will enter the third season of his second stint with the team.

Woodson is a three-time All Pro and eight-time Pro Bowler. He has 60 career interceptions, 20 sacks, 33 forced fumbles and 13 fumble recoveries in 238 career games.

Woodson is the only player with at least 50 career interceptions and 20 sacks. He also has intercepted at least one pass in 17 straight seasons —two shy of the record streak held by Green.


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