-- Christmas Eve in Oakland is going to be a night of farewell.
In what could be the final home game for the Raiders' in Oakland, it will definitely be the final home game for superstar safety Charles Woodson. Woodson, who turned 39 in October, announced Monday that he will retire at the end of this season. The Raiders host San Diego on Thursday in their final home game of the season.
The Raiders, who are 6-8, close the season at Kansas City on Jan. 3. Woodson said it was important that Raiders fans knew of his intentions before his final game there.
Woodson told his teammates about his decision Monday. He said he knew on the morning of the Raiders' loss at Detroit on Nov. 22 that this would be his final season.
Woodson signed a one-year contract in January to remain with the Raiders. Oakland drafted him out of Michigan, where he won the Heisman Trophy, with the No. 4 overall pick in 1998. He went to Green Bay in 2006. He returned to the Raiders after the Packers cut him in 2013.
Woodson won the defensive player of the year award in 2009 and won the Super Bowl with the Packers to end the 2010 season. Known for being candid and articulate, Woodson reportedly signed with a television talent agency recently. He is likely to be a first-ballot inductee to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
Woodson, known as a generational defensive back, has 65 interceptions and 13 touchdowns in his NFL career. He is finishing his career strong and has a good chance to be named to his ninth Pro Bowl when selections are announced Tuesday night. He also has been named first-team All-Pro three times.
Woodson has five interceptions this season and was named the AFC defensive player of the month in October. He has been playing with an injured shoulder since Week 1 and said in November that all he was hoping for each week was "get me to Sunday."
Thursday night's game will surely be emotional in Oakland. In addition to Woodson's final game there, there is a chance it will be the last game for the franchise in Oakland. The Raiders are one of three teams, along with the Chargers and Rams, interested in relocating to Los Angeles. NFL owners are set to vote in a Jan. 12-13 meeting in Houston on whether to allow one or two teams to move to L.A.