Mich. - Charles Woodson pushed back a visit to Oakland to
pursue a reunion with the Raiders because extending his
career in the NFL isn't his only mission.
NFL Defensive Player of the Year would've traveled to the
Bay Area from Denver after meeting with the Broncos on
Wednesday, but he had charity obligations this weekend to
support Mott Children's Hospital.
important for me to be here even though I'm looking for a
job," Woodson said in an interview with The Associated
Press on Friday.
eight-time Pro Bowl player said he's scheduled to meet with
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie and members of the
coaching staff on Tuesday.
see if things fit," he said at The M-Den before being
the part of a WTKA radiothon that raised more than $90,000
for The Charles Woodson Clinical Research Fund.
agent, Carl Poston, told The AP earlier in the day that the
36-year-old defensive back had also drawn interest from the
New York Giants, Carolina Panthers and other teams he
declined to identify.
Bay Packers cut Woodson in a salary-cap move three months
ago. He went on to visit with the San Francisco 49ers and
Broncos and left both times without agreeing to a deal.
thought I would have been signed by now," Woodson
acknowledged. "You do have to be patient, but there is
some frustration even though I am not the first nor will I
be the last guy to go through this."
feel confident I'll be playing somewhere next season. I'm
feeling great, and I'm ready to roll."
spent his first eight seasons in Oakland after leading
Michigan to the 1997 national championship. He developed a
relationship with and a passion for the patients at Mott
Children's Hospital while he and the Wolverines made visits.
joined former college teammates Brian Griese and Steve
Hutchinson to raise more than $5 million over the previous
six years for the hospital during the Champions for
Children's Hearts Celebrity Weekend, which includes a gala
dinner Saturday night and a golf outing on Sunday.
committed to make a $2 million donation in 2009 to support a
pediatric research in his name.
has spent $350,000 this year, according to Dr. Dr. Valerie
Castle, to support two surgeons and two cardiologists trying
to find ways to keep donated hearts alive for more than
three days to improve the success rate of transplants.
said he is amazed at what the fund has accomplished.
great to be in a position to help people do what they do
best, which is to help humanity," said Woodson, who has
4- and 2-year-old boys. "Having two healthy boys,
running around and enjoying life, it makes you want to do
whatever you can to improve somebody else's situation."