Super Bowl champion and nine-time Pro Bowl defensive back Charles Woodson joined ESPN as an NFL analyst in July 2016. The 18-year veteran who played his final NFL season in 2015, appears on Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown. He also makes occasional appearances on SportsCenter and other ESPN studio shows.
Woodson played cornerback and safety for the Oakland Raiders (1998-2005 and 2013-15) and Green Bay Packers (2006-12) during his legendary career. He is one of the few players in NFL history to play in a Pro Bowl in three different decades (1990s, 2000s, 2010s).
The 2009 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and a member of the NFL All-Decade Team (2000s), Woodson ranks tied for fifth on the league’s all-time interceptions list (65), tied for most career defensive touchdowns (13), and second all-time in interceptions returned for touchdowns (11). He also amassed 1,003 career tackles, 20 sacks and 28 forced fumbles, playing 254 regular-season games, the second-most games of any defensive back in NFL history. Twice he led the NFL in interceptions – 2009 (nine) and 2011 (seven).
Woodson, who was selected fourth overall by Oakland in the 1998 NFL Draft, played in two Super Bowls – XXXVII with the Raiders and Super Bowl XLV as a member of the NFL World Champion Packers. The NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1998 as a member of the Raiders, Woodson still holds the Packers’ franchise record for most defensive touchdowns with eight (seven interception returns and a fumble return).
In his final pro season, Woodson was honored with the NFL’s 2015 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award at Super Bowl 50. Voted on by current NFL players, the award is presented annually to the NFL player who best demonstrates the qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition.
At the University of Michigan, Woodson was the 1997 Heisman Trophy winner (ahead of Peyton Manning), becoming the first primarily defensive player to earn the award presented to college football’s top player. Woodson, who played on both sides of the ball, was second in the nation in interceptions and voted the MVP of the Wolverines’ National Championship squad.
A Fremont, Ohio, native, Woodson was named the 1997 Walter Camp Player of the Year, Chevrolet Defensive Player of the Year twice, Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year twice, the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Year, and the Jim Thorpe Award winner as the top defensive back in the nation. He was a two-time All-American and a unanimous consensus All-American selection in 1997.
Woodson is active in numerous philanthropic endeavors through his Charles Woodson Foundation, which supports the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital for pediatric research in Ann Arbor, Mich., as well as two scholarships to the University of Michigan. He has also supported the fight against breast cancer, and relief efforts following Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
In 2017, the University of Michigan honored Woodson with a Distinguished Alumni Award. He was also a member of the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Class of 2017.
Away from the field, Woodson has developed an interest in wine from his years playing in Oakland – near famed Napa Valley. He started his own wine company in 2005, Charles Woodson Wines, which bears his name and signature.