ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Charles Woodson set off alarm bells following the Oakland Raiders’ loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day by continually referring to “they” when talking about the Raiders and their future.
Woodson, who returned to the Raiders on a one-year free-agent deal after seven years with the Green Bay Packers, does nothing without a purpose and the inference was that the free safety was distancing himself from the discussion.
But Thursday, in a radio interview with ESPN affiliate 95.7 The Game, Woodson said he wanted to return to Oakland, which drafted the Heisman Trophy winner out of Michigan with the No. 4 overall pick of the 1998 NFL draft.
“I want to play again,” Woodson said. “I think this is the only place that I would play. So I do plan on coming back and playing for the Raiders. If that weren’t to happen, then I think I would have to decide, do I want to go somewhere else and do it again for another year?
“But If I’m wanted here, I’m coming back.”
Woodson, 37, clearly put the ball in general manager Reggie McKenzie’s court.
“I believe that this organization and this team is going in the right direction,” Woodson said. “[I’m] very happy and proud to be a part of that transition, and hopefully going forward as well.”
He is having his best individual season since 2010, when he last played 16 games, and Woodson’s 76 tackles rank third on the team. He also has one sack and an interception, as well as a 25-yard fumble return for a touchdown against the San Diego Chargers.
Still, with the Raiders sitting at 4-9 heading into this weekend’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Woodson will be a member of a team with a losing record for the first time since the Packers went 6-10 in 2008.
He said the Raiders' defense played like the “Bad News Bears” and “peed” down their leg last week against the New York Jets.
And yet ...
“I’ve really just been enjoying my time back here,” Woodson said. “Aside from where we are as far as [our] record is concerned, it’s just been great to go out every week and put on the silver and black, to run out at the Coliseum. The best part for me has been just the fans, the love that they’ve shown me since I’ve been back. All I want to do is win, and win for the fans because it’s been noted, it’s been a long time. And I’ve been here when we won.
“A lot of these guys don’t understand how it is around here when it’s like that.”