Oakland Raiders’ legend Charles Woodson won’t be walking through that door in 2016.
But the 18-year pro is leaving his team in far better shape than when he arrived (both times). And that’s due in no small part to Woodson’s high example in the locker room.
Here are three Raiders poised to seize No. 24’s mantle as vocal leader and team representative:
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1. Outside linebacker Khalil Mack: Mack took major on-field leaps in his second season of professional ball. Now, the team will need him to step up off the field and become the face of the Raiders’ defensive future. It helps that he’s got Woodson-eque talents to lean on.
2. Quarterback Derek Carr: Carr is the new unquestioned leader in Oakland’s locker room. But he’ll only be a third-year guy in 2016; like Mack, he’ll have to set a stronger base with his play before assuming Woodson’s off-field ethos.
3. A safety to be named later: From Jack Tatum to George Atkinson to Woodson, there’s something about being a Raiders safety that carries some weight. Oakland will need to address Woodson’s departure this offseason. Expect them to find a player who isn’t afraid to lead.