Oakland Raiders defensive back Charles Woodson has revealed to the world that he is retiring at the end of the season, according to NFL.com.
Charles Woodson told the media today that while his body might be able to take another season in the NFL, he really does not want to mentally go through it anymore.
Selected fourth overall in the 1998 NFL Draft, the former Michigan Wolverines star ended up becoming one of the best and most versatile defensive backs that the league has ever seen.
For the first eight seasons of his career, Charles Woodson played with the Oakland Raiders, where he became a major fan favorite because of his ability to shut down wide receivers.
Another reason why Woodson was able to attract a huge fan base was because he was often a threat to return an interception for a touchdown, much like Deion Sanders used to do.
Charles was so good at scoring from the defensive side of the game that he is actually tied for the most career interceptions turned into touchdowns with 13 of them.
In 2006, the Green Bay Packers were able to reel in the Ohio native, who was coming off of a broken leg, with a generous $52 million contract; he played there for the next seven years.
Charles Woodson won a Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers, and defensive coordinator Dom Capers also helped extend his career by moving him from corner back to safety.
Now that the NFL veteran had won a highly coveted championship, Charles Woodson decided it was time for him to return home to the Oakland Raiders.
In his 17 year NFL career, Charles Woodson has managed to pick off 65 interceptions, but the number would definitely be higher if quarterbacks hadn’t avoided his side of the defense.
Charles Woodson has won the AP NFL Defensive Player of the year award, played in eight Pro Bowl games, been a four time All-Pro and was on the NFL’s All Decade Team.
Back in college, he helped the Michigan Wolverines win the National Championship by being one of the most dominant amateur athletes in the country.
In 1997, Charles Woodson went up against Peyton Manning, a sure fire NFL Hall of Fame inductee some day, and captured the Heisman Tropy, an award that favors offensive players.
Despite being 39 years of age, he started at one of the safety positions for the Oakland Raiders, beating out former USC star Taylor Mays for the job.
Woodson wasn’t just a marginal starter this season, either, as he was able to win the AFC Defensive Player of the Month in October, even though he played with an injured shoulder.
On Christmas Eve, which falls on a Thursday night, the Oakland Raiders will play host to the San Diego Chargers, which means that it will be the final home game for Charles Woodson.
The reason why he decided to make his retirement announcement at this point in time was because he reportedly wanted Oakland Raiders fans to watch him in person one final time.
With a 6-8 record, the Oakland Raiders are well behind the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos in the tough AFC West division; it’s pretty much guaranteed there will be no playoffs for Charles Woodson.
Woodson informed the media that various Raiders teammates have attempted to convince him to stick around for another year, but he simply could not make that promise.
After losing to the Detroit Lions on November 22, the thought of retirement crept into Woodson’ head, and he began talking to his family about one of the biggest decisions in his life.
Charles Woodson walks away from the NFL as one of the most productive and most popular players ever.
[Photo by Justin Bradford/Getty Images]