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Thursday, July 25, 2013
Charles Woodson back in No. 24

ESPN.com news services

Charles Woodson apparently has secured the No. 24 for his return season with the Oakland Raiders, but Tracy Porter said Wednesday on Twitter that he didn't give up the number willingly.

Woodson wore the No. 24 in his first eight seasons with the Raiders. When he left Oakland to sign with the Green Bay Packers in 2006, he switched to No. 21. But when he re-signed with Oakland this offseason, his favored No. 24 wasn't available because it belonged to Porter. He had told NFL Network in May that negotiations with Porter for the number had "stalled."

That's not the case anymore, however, according to Porter.

Well you Raiders fans...your guy has 24. It was TAKEN from me and given to him. #congrats.....too funny how this biz "works"

— ♌Tracy Porter♌ (@TracyPorter) July 24, 2013

In a follow-up tweet, Porter, who will now wear No. 31, said he isn't upset but he wished the team had handled in it a better manner.

Not mad at all...it's just the principle and the way it was handled.....said my piece, now back to football.

— ♌Tracy Porter♌ (@TracyPorter) July 24, 2013

Woodson initially wore a numberless jersey in workouts with the Raiders after signing a one-year deal worth up to $4.3 million, then wore the No. 2. He wouldn't have been able to wear that number in the regular season, however, as NFL rules mandate that defensive backs' uniform numbers have to be in the range of 20-49.

Woodson, 36, is an eight-time Pro Bowler and was the 2009 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He has 55 career interceptions, 17 sacks, 24 forced fumbles and 11 interception returns for touchdowns in eight seasons in Oakland and seven in Green Bay.

He played just seven games last season because of a broken collarbone but brings leadership and playmaking ability to a rebuilding defense that was lacking both.

Porter, 26, agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Raiders in April, joining Oakland after playing for the Denver Broncos last season.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.