Once Charles Woodson saw the mob of Oakland Raiders fans awaiting his arrival at the team facility Tuesday, he pretty much knew he had to walk out of the building with a new contract in hand.
"I think I was actually scared of leaving the facility and not having a deal done," Woodson joked Wednesday, according to Bay Area News Group. "I don't know if I would have made it out of there. But that was a big deal, and receiving that kind of welcome, it definitely put me in a mindset that it would be a good decision to make it happen."
Woodson signed a one-year deal Tuesday, reuniting him with the team that took him with the fourth overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. Woodson expects to play the same safety role he moved to late in his tenure with the Green Bay Packers and said his troublesome collarbone is "great."
Woodson also explained why he chose the Raiders. He said early in his free-agent process that he wanted to catch on with a team in contention for the Super Bowl. This would not be a popular way to describe the 2013 Raiders.
"Well, that was definitely my sentiment going into free agency, that I wanted to go and finish up somewhere that was on the verge," Woodson said. "Certainly, a couple of teams that brought me in, San Francisco and Denver, obviously two teams that have that chance. Those two places didn't work out. Just as the process kind of rolled on, I knew I wanted to play football, regardless of really where I played.
"At that point, I had to figure out what I wanted to do, and playing football was what I wanted to do, so it was going to be somewhere, if it was a team that wasn't quite there but still is a team that is looking on the up, then I was going to do it. And I feel that the Raiders are a team that are looking on the up."
Woodson spins the Raiders as a team on the rise because, well, what else is he supposed to do? In reality, this feels like a sentimental move by a player who already has accomplished everything he wanted to do in the NFL.
If it's a victory lap, it's certainly well-earned.
Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.