The 28-year-old has admitted that he was willing to take a pay cut and drop into the Championship just so he could be first pick in the ranks.
"Yes, I think the summer was going to be a bit of a crossroads for me," Westwood told the Shields Gazette. "I actually love it here, it's a fantastic club and I get on great with everybody. I've got a lot of good friends here.
"It would have been a wrench to leave, but on the other side of it, I have to think of my career. I want to play. Everybody knows I want to play. It's not in my nature to sit on the bench.
"I would rather go and play for a Championship team on less money and play every week, just so I get that buzz on a Saturday."