After 18 seasons, over 250 games and a career that will undoubtedly land him in the Hall of Fame, Charles Woodson announced his retirement Monday afternoon at the team's Alameda, Calif., facility.
Woodson elected to announce his decision in front of the team's local media, citing their commitment to the team on a day-to-day basis.
Here are the highlights from his press conference.
It was important for Woodson to make his announcement to the local media.
"I felt like I needed to talk to our local media first. You guys are the eyes and ears of Raider Nation, Raiders community, to let you know and let them all know that 2015 is going to be my last season playing in the NFL. Was it a tough decision? Kind of, but in a way, a couple of weeks ago, it hit me that this would be it. It was important for me to let Raider Nation know now."
It's gratifying to go out still playing at a high level.
"It feels good. There's so many players that played this sport and other sports that would like to go out that way, playing well, doing what they love to do, so yeah, I feel very good about the way I performed, not only this year, but my whole career. It's the only way you're able to play as long as I have, is to go out there and perform and to be performing at the level I have this year, it just makes it all that much better."
**Woodson has known since late-November that this would be the end.
"I knew the morning of the Detroit game. I woke up that morning and for whatever reason, I knew it. It was weird, actually, but I knew it at that point in time that this was going to be it."
Thursday's game against the Chargers will surely be an emotional one.
"It'll be emotional. I've been emotional all day, really, so it will be that way Thursday for myself and my family, friends, for Raider Nation. I felt 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 so. It'll be [a] pretty emotional day."
He shared his favorite memories from playing at O.co Coliseum.
"It's just being able to run out there when they introduce you as a player, when they introduce the defense and you're able to run out there and they announce your name and to hear the crowd roar is pretty, pretty magical. Winning the AFC Championship before we went to San Diego to play Tampa [Bay Buccaneers], that was a pretty special moment, being all that I had gone through that year with the injuries, and to make it to that point and have an opportunity to play in the Super Bowl, that was pretty special as well."
Even though he's leaving, Woodson believes the Silver and Black are trending upwards.**
"It feels really good, because I do feel like the organization is in a great place for going forward. I think they're under great leadership under Jack Del Rio. I think Reggie has done a great job, from what he came in and what he inherited when he came. I guess you always want to leave a place better than when you came in, so I feel like this organization and this team is definitely in a better place."
Woodson spoke about what he'll miss most about suiting up on Sundays.
"Standing on the sidelines before games. The National Anthem, just really listening to it, listening to the words. You know this is a great, great country that we live in to be able to play this great game. I'll miss that moment. I'll miss away games. I'll miss packing up, gathering what you need, the players that you need. That's all you have. You take it, you go on the road and you're going in there into someone else's stadium trying to win a game at their home. I'll miss that. I'll miss that traveling and just taking what's necessary to get a win."