January 4, 2016 / 3:21 AM / 3 years ago

Woodson bows out with a loss after long and storied career

Jan 3, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) catches a pass as Oakland Raiders free safety Charles Woodson (24) defends during the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley

(Reuters) - Charles Woodson said he felt “good” about retiring, even though the final act for the Oakland strong safety ended in disappointment when the Raiders lost 23-17 to the playoff-bound Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

Woodson, 39, failed to add to his impressive career interception total, but he did make seven tackles at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, where his National Football League career began on Sept. 6, 1998.

“I would have liked to walk off the field with a win,” he told reporters after ending a career that spanned 254 regular season and 17 playoff games.

“Mentally, I know it’s over. I feel like I can finally just breathe. I’m good.”

The nine-times Pro Bowler departs with a Super Bowl championship ring from the 2010 season as a member of the Green Bay Packers, 11 touchdown interception returns (tied for second all-time) and 65 interceptions (tied for fifth all-time).

He began his pro career with the Raiders before moving to the Packers for seven seasons. He returned to Oakland for his final three years. Before the NFL, Woodson played at the University of Michigan and beat out Peyton Manning to win the 1997 Heisman Trophy.

“Of course, I’m biased because I feel this is the greatest game in the world,” he said.

“There’s nothing like going out there between the white lines every Sunday afternoon or whatever day you’re playing on. I had such a great time doing it, playing with all the teammates I’ve had.”

Reporting by Tim Wharnsby in Toronto; Editing by Andrew Both

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