Super Bowl XLV

Source: Al Bello / Getty

The NFL‘s most underrated marvel is Charles Woodson. He’s 39 years old and is still playing high-level football at the physically demanding defensive back position. Sadly, this year will be his last.

The Raiders veteran is calling it quits after 18 years in the league. Those were 18 good years. In addition to being a consistent shutdown corner and hard hitter, Woodson is one of the few players to play in the Pro Bowl in three different decades. He’s currently sixth on the all-time interceptions list (65) and second in interceptions returned for touchdowns (11).

Woodson was also on the sour end of one of the century’s pivotal NFL moments. It was he who sacked and stripped Tom Brady in the 2001 AFC Divisional Playoff game. This was the Tuck Rule Game, where officials controversially reversed the game-winning fumble and gave the Patriots new life to eventually beat the Raiders. The call had the unintended consequence of starting a Patriots dynasty that’s still well and alive 14 years later. Aside from making it to the Super Bowl the following year, the Raider spent the next decade in abject mediocrity.

However, Woodson did get his Super Bowl ring with Aaron Rodgers‘s Packers in 2011 against the Steelers. But even that win is tied to his hard luck legacy; he left the game in the second quarter with a broken collarbone.

But Woodson is still in the league after 18 years because he’s one of the finest cornerbacks to ever do it. This is a hall of famer’s last season.


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