ALAMEDA -- Charles Woodson has no intention of being an aging mentor playing out his golden years in silver and black.
"I would have just retired if I thought I couldn't go out there and be the best player on the field," Woodson said Wednesday by conference call. "That's how I feel."
Woodson, who signed a one-year contract with the Raiders on Tuesday night following a daylong fan rally at the club's Alameda facility, sounded as confident at age 36 as he did when he left as a free agent at age 29.
He shrugged off two broken clavicles in three seasons.
"Collarbone's fine," he said.
Woodson will freely offer advice to his younger teammates. But, at the same time, he thinks they'll learn more by observation than questioning.
"I think when guys watch me play, it raises the level of the other guys because of the way I play the game," Woodson said. "I'm going to bring that mindset, that mentality, the same as I always have, and have fun doing it."
Which is just what Raiders coach Dennis Allen has in mind with regard to bolstering the confidence of the entire roster by adding a potential Hall of Fame player at safety.
"Charles has that swagger, and I think he can bring some of that to our football team -- not just defensively, but to the whole team in general," Allen said.
Speculation regarding Woodson signing with the Raiders was divided into two camps -- those that felt the hometown emotion helped reel him in, and those who felt offers from Denver and other teams simply weren't sufficient.
Woodson gave merit to both theories, saying he was overwhelmed by the greeting of more than 100 fans as he was driven into the facility.
"If, at any time, I'd ever forgotten what the love was like in Oakland, I was definitely reminded yesterday," Woodson said.
As for negotiations with the Broncos, Woodson said he "hit it off" with the coaching staff but added, "there's always, of course, the business side of it that sometimes comes up short. So it didn't work out. This situation did."
Woodson reportedly received a $1.8 million salary with the Raiders, with a $700,000 signing bonus and a ceiling of $4.3 million including incentives for one season. The Broncos' offer maxed out at $3.7 million, according to the Denver Post.
Woodson said the market, as well as the pitch of Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie, helped lure him back to Oakland.
Woodson said he enjoyed reacquainting himself with support staff that were still working in the building, as well as Willie Brown, the Hall of Fame cornerback and administrator who also wore No. 24 with the Raiders.
Cornerback Tracy Porter, signed as a free agent, currently has No. 24, but probably not for long.
"We'll definitely have that conversation," Woodson said. "We haven't had it yet. Raider Nation has me back, but I don't know if they'll have me back without the '24' on my back."
The Raiders released undrafted free agent quarterback Kyle Padron to bring Woodson to the roster.
Raiders beat writer Jerry McDonald goes one-on-one with Charles Woodson at www.mercurynews.com/raiders