The Pro Football Hall of Fame will be getting two more Raiders very soon.
With the enshrinement ceremony less than a month away, legendary cornerback Charles Woodson and trailblazing Head Coach Tom Flores will be inducted and remembered as some of the greatest to excel at their craft. Woodson will be the eighth Raider to be inducted his first season of eligibility, while Flores has had to wait more than two decades for his induction after coaching two Super Bowl teams.
Autumn Bonner asks...
Will Charles Woodson go in as a Raider or Packer?
Technically, Woodson won't be going in as either.
According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, an enshrinee is not asked to "declare," nor does the Hall of Fame "choose" a team under which a new member is enshrined. When elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, an individual is recognized for his accomplishments as a player, coach, or contributor.
However, while Charles Woodson spent most of his illustrious career in the Silver and Black uniform, his time in Green Bay should not be forgotten.
What makes Woodson's legacy so special is how he was able to leave Oakland with arguably a Hall of Fame worthy first stint, use his veteran leadership and talent to win a Defensive Player of the Year award and a Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers – and then come back and end his career with the team that drafted him. Woodson has said in previous interviews that injuries and burnout caused things to go south in his first Raiders stint. But he never truly wanted to leave the team and this fanbase.
It's hard to say where his head is at now, but for what it's worth, Woodson did offer a little insight into this topic back in 2013. Speaking with a Wisconsin radio station, Woodson said: "When it comes [time for the Hall of Fame], I'm going probably with the last team I played for."
So while his run with the Packers should definitely not be discounted during his Hall of Fame induction, it's safe to say that even in Woodson's own eyes, his legacy will always be defined by his time as a Raider.
Bryan Montes said:
Tim Brown and Charles Woodson are, in my opinion, the greatest to ever wear the Silver and Black.
Greatest ever — that's a very subjective statement.
However, I will go and say that Brown and Woodson may have had the best careers of any Raider to play in the '90s or 21st century. Both set many team records for the Raiders and had a lot of pressure on them to succeed coming out of college. Brown was the 1987 Heisman winner and ten years later Woodson won the same award — and a National Championship — at Michigan.
In Woodson's 11 seasons spanning from 1998-2005 and 2013-15, he played 154 games, grabbed 27 interceptions and forced 18 fumbles. He completely helped lead the dormant Raiders defense to two conference championship appearances and to Super Bowl XXXVII. Brown also played on those same playoff teams with Woodson in the early 2000's, and established himself as one of the greatest receivers in the team's history. He still holds the team career records for total touchdowns (104), receiving yards (14,734), receptions (1,070) and all-purpose yards (19,431).
While the Raiders have too many Hall of Famers and legends to count and rank, these two Raiders — I believe — are the most beloved among my Gen Z peers for the more recent greatness they've had.
Glenn Holbert says...
Call out the above absurdity of Cliff Branch continuing to be overlooked by the voters.
At this point Cliff Branch might not be just the biggest Raider omission in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but the greatest player in general omitted from Canton currently.
I shouldn't have to debate or make an argument for why Cliff Branch should be in Canton: The numbers and the film speaks for itself. He is also third all-time in Raiders history in receiving touchdowns, receiving yards and receptions, and the two players above him on those lists are Tim Brown and Fred Biletnikoff – both of whom are already in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
While Branch couldn't live to see himself become inducted, he is most deserving of a senior induction. It is now at point where it should be a matter of not if, but when.
I have to agree with Glenn on this one: It is indeed absurdity.
View photos of the Las Vegas Raiders tight ends and wide receivers heading into 2021 Training Camp.