Oakland Raiders safety Charles Woodson told a Bay Area radio station on Sunday there is no reason why the team can’t end its playoff drought in 2014.
“No doubt about it,” Woodson told 95.7 The Game. (h/t CBSSports.com) “I don’t see why not. I ain’t looking four or five years down the road. I fully expect to be in the playoffs this year.”
The Raiders have been one of the busiest teams in free agency this month, bringing in offensive linemen Austin Howard, Kevin Boothe and Donald Penn; defensive ends Justin Tuck, LaMarr Woodley and Antonio Smith; cornerback Tarell Brown; wide receiver James Jones; and running back Maurice Jones-Drew. They also traded for quarterback Matt Schaub and re-signed Woodson, running back Darren McFadden, defensive tackle Pat Sims and safety Usama Young.
They did suffer some losses in free agency, too. Left tackle Jared Veldheer bolted for Arizona, defensive end Lamarr Houston signed with the Bears, running back Rashad Jennings left for the Giants, defensive tackle Vance Walker signed with Kansas City and three cornerbacks have left. Phillip Adams returned to Seattle, Tracy Porter signed with the Redskins and Mike Jenkins went to the Buccaneers.
As far as whether or not the Raiders should pursue DeSean Jackson, the Pro Bowl wide receiver released by the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday, Woodson said bring him on.
“I think he would look good in the silver and black,” Woodson said. “Of course I know the business side of it, but I’ve watched this guy and what he is, is a dynamic football player. What they’re talking [about] as far as off-the-field stuff, I have no clue about. The team would have to do their homework as far as that’s concerned.”
Albert Breer of NFL Media reported the Raiders are doing just that:
The Raiders are still doing background work on DeSean Jackson. My sense is they realize there’s some added risk in bringing him home.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 30, 2014
But Woodson says late owner Al Davis never shied away from taking a risk and that Jackson would be a player Davis would have loved.
“There is no question in my mind that this is the type of player that Al would bring in,” Woodson said (h/t Pro Football Talk) “You hear about the off-field stuff but I don’t think Al would concern himself with that too much. I think Al would do his homework. But I think he would take a serious hard look and if there was an opportunity I think he would bring that guy in.
“DeSean can stretch the field and we know how much Al loved having guys that can stretch the field. So I don’t think there is any question he would bring him in.”
The Raiders are coming off a 4-12 season and are seeking to return to the playoffs for the first time since reaching the Super Bowl after the 2002 season.