December 22, 2015 / 3:45 AM / 3 years ago

Raiders' Woodson to retire at end of season

Dec 20, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Julius Peppers (56) meets with Oakland Raiders safety Charles Woodson (24) after the game at Coliseum. The Packers defeated the Raiders 30-20. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Raiders safety Charles Woodson will bring the curtain down on his spectacular 18-year career in the NFL at the end of the season, the 39-year-old said on Monday.

Woodson, one of the best defenders ever to play the game, won the Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers in the 2010/11 season and was named to the Pro Bowl eight times.

The 2009 NFL Defensive Player of the Year spent the first eight years of his career with the Raiders before moving to Green Bay. He returned to the Raiders in 2013.

“Was it a tough decision? Kind of, but a couple of weeks ago it hit me that this would be it,” Woodson told reporters. “It was important for me to let Raider Nation know now.” Woodson entered the NFL as a cornerback before converting to safety in the later stages of his career. He was awarded the Heisman Trophy as the top college player while at Michigan in 1997.

Woodson is tied for the most career defensive touchdowns with 13 and is sixth on the all-time interceptions list with 65.

Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie paid tribute to Woodson by calling him the “Greatest of All Time”.

“Charles Woodson is one of those players that comes along and reminds you why you love the game,” said McKenzie.

“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”

Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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