December 22, 2015 - Aaron Wilson
Raiders legend Charles Woodson announces he's retiring
Oakland Raiders legendary safety Charles Woodson is retiring. Woodson, 39, will retire at the end of the season. His final home game for the Raiders in Oakland is Thursday against the San Diego Chargers. "An incredible career, man," Woodson said Monday of his 18 seasons in the NFL. "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." "Charles Woodson is one of those players that comes along and reminds you why you love the game," Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said. "He is truly a one of a kind player that goes above and beyond his Heisman trophy and future gold jacket. It has been an honor to have worked alongside Charles for so many years and have the confidence to call him what he truly is: the G.O.A.T. He is, without a doubt, the embodiment of what it means to be a Raider." Woodson has had a stellar career. He'll be a future Hall of Famer. He has 65 interceptions and 13 touchdowns. He has five interceptions this year despite an injured shoulder. "So many 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," Woodson said. "Honestly, I think physically I could do it. My body has responded, but mentally it's not there, not going to happen. "It will be emotional. I've been emotional all day, really, so it will be that way Thursday for myself, for my family, friends, for Raider Nation. I feel like coming back here and playing for the second time, we were able to rekindle something that we had years ago, so it was really fun, man, coming back here and playing. So it will be a pretty emotional day." Follow me on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL Aaron Wilson covers the Texans for The Houston Chronicle.