Oakland Raiders star Charles Woodson is retiring after 18 seasons in the NFL.
For fans, the star safety’s final home game will be on Christmas Eve, when he takes the field against the San Diego Chargers.
Woodson, who turned 39 in October, announced Monday (Dec. 21) that he will retire at the end of this season.
“An incredible career, man. It goes beyond words. I never intended on playing as long as I have, but this is the way it’s happened and I’m so grateful for it,” Woodson said.
“So many of [my] teammates throughout this year have talked to me about next year. ‘Come back next year, I know you’re coming back next year,’ and I would love to, because it’s what I feel about the organization, where I feel like it’s headed. Where it’s going, it would be great to grow with this group of guys,” he later added. “Honestly, I think physically I could do it. My body has responded, but mentally it’s not there, not going to happen.”
Woodson’s final game will be on Jan. 3rd, when the Raiders close out the season at Kansas City.
Oakland drafted Woodson in 1998 with the fourth overall pick in the Draft. He played for the Raiders up until 2005, before he went to Green Bay in 2006. But, he returned to the Raiders after the Packers cut him in 2013… and has played his final years with the team.
With the Packers he earned his only championship ring at Super Bowl XLV. He also won the defensive player of the year award in 2009.
He currently has 65 interceptions and 13 touchdowns in his NFL career. He’s also the only player in NFL history with, at least, 50 interceptions and 20 sacks.