Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Woodson: Fans' response 'overwhelming'
By ESPN.com staff
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Charles Woodson had gotten word that Oakland fans had mobilized through social media to hold a rally at his free-agent visit to the Raiders.
Even Woodson was blown away by the reception, which included more than a hundred fans decked out in Raiders gear and costumes waiting at the team facility for his arrival Tuesday.
"It was overwhelming," he said Wednesday. "I think that if at any time I'd ever forgotten what the love was like in Oakland, I was definitely reminded yesterday."
The love from the fans, the belief in general manager Reggie McKenzie's rebuilding project and a one-year contract worth up to $4.3 million all led to Woodson's decision to return to his original team seven years after leaving as a free agent for Green Bay.
"I was actually scared of leaving the facility and not having a deal done," he said. "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 came into free agency after being released by Green Bay in February looking to play for a Super Bowl contender and met with upper-echelon teams San Francisco and Denver during the process.
Nothing came together with the 49ers and the Broncos weren't willing to make the same commitment as the Raiders, leading to Woodson's decision to sign with Oakland.
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