Al Woods was one of their few free agents the team wanted to resign following last season, and on Friday night the Tennessee Titans and Wood's agents were able to complete a deal to bring him back to Nashville.
While Woods was a priority for the Titans, as it turns out the Titans were an equal priority for Woods. His relationship with his teammates and defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau were the driving factors in his return.
“I feel like it was basically a match made in heaven. I’m glad to be back in this great city and turn this thing around this upcoming season,” said Woods.
“To be honest, I love the organization. I love the new coaches, the new GM and especially my teammates,” Woods said. “I talked to my wife and said, ‘I really love being around those guys. If they give me an option to come back, I’m definitely coming back.’ And Tennessee gave me the option, so there wasn’t anything to think about.”
Woods took one visit, to Seattle before getting the offer and resigning with the Titans,
“It was (tempting) when I got out there (Seattle) and got to talking with the coaches. But I said, ‘You know what? I’ve got great guys in Tennessee," said Woods. "I went up there with an open mind, and it could have happened, but I just kept coming back to my teammates and Nashville. I just couldn’t leave.”
Woods and the Titans had been talking for a few weeks about a new deal, but it was not until Woods was on his way back from Seattle that he got the offer he wanted.
“They made an offer and I told them I wanted to come home and think about it and pray about it and see what was the best for my family. When I got back, I told my agent, ‘I want to go to Tennessee.’'
The 3-year deal is set to pay Woods $10.5 million with $5 million guaranteed plus incentives that could make his total compensation over $12.75 million over the three years of the contract.
Woods joined the Titans as a free agent prior to the 2014 season, and was the backup to Sammie Lee Hill, who is also a free agent and not expected to return to the Titans, making Woods the team's new starter in the middle.