The Green Bay Packers confirmed earlier reports on Friday afternoon by announcing the release of eight-time Pro Bowl safety, Charles Woodson. The press release was joined by a statement from the team's general manager, Ted Thompson, who spoke of Woodson's contribution during his seven seasons with the team:
"We are grateful for all that Charles has given to the Green Bay Packers over the past seven years," Thompson said. "He has been an integral part of the Packers' success and our Super Bowl title in 2010 would not have been possible without his contributions. A once-in-a-generation talent as a player, he is also a great leader and ambassador for the organization off the field. Charles will always be a member of the Packers family and we look forward to his eventual induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. We wish him and his family all the best."
Woodson, 36, was selected with the fourth overall selection in the 1998 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders after winning the 1997 Heisman Trophy, the last non-running back or quarterback to earn the honor. After eight seasons with the Raiders, Woodson hit free agency in 2006 and received a huge contract from the Packers.
In Green Bay, Woodson earned four trips to the Pro Bowl and was named the 2009 AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year after a season in which he finished with nine interceptions, three of which were returned for touchdowns. In his final season with the team, Woodson played in seven games before a broken collarbone forced him to miss a majority of the season.