Mentally it's not there - Woodson explains retirement decision


Charles Woodson admitted he does not have the mental strength to keep playing in the NFL after announcing he will retire at the end of the season.

The Oakland Raiders safety confirmed he will bring his spectacular 18-year career in the league to a close on Monday.

A Super Bowl winner with the Green Bay Packers in 2011, Woodson has been named to the Pro Bowl eight times and selected as a first-team All-Pro on four occasions.

The fourth overall pick by the Raiders in the 1998 draft, Woodson will play his final home game for Oakland on Thursday against the San Diego Chargers.

"It was hard to get it out," Woodson said of his meeting with Raiders management during a media conference. 

"Then getting in front of your team-mates and so many of them were talking with me about next year. I would love to [play next year] because of how I feel about the organisation and where it's headed.

"Honestly, physically I could do it, but mentally it's not there."

Woodson is hopeful his final game at the Coliseum will not be the Raiders' last appearance in Oakland. The Raiders, along with the San Diego Charges and St Louis Rams, are interested in relocating to Los Angeles.

NFL owners are set to vote on whether to allow one or two teams to move to LA in a meeting next month.

"I felt it was right for Raiders fans, my fans, to know this Thursday night would be my last time in the Coliseum for them to see me run out there," Woodson added.

"It would be sad for the fans [if the Raiders move]. They love this team. They identify with the Oakland Raiders. It's happened to them before, so it would be tough for them if it happened again.

"Was it a tough decision? Kind of, but in a way, a couple weeks ago it hit me that this would be it. It was important for me to let Raider Nation know now."