ALAMEDA – Raiders safety Charles Woodson is on the home stretch of his illustrious 18-year career. The 39-year old announced his retirement on Monday, despite the fact he’s still one of the best defensive backs in the NFL.
That point was proven on Tuesday night, when he was named to the ninth Pro Bowl of his career.
The league announced players voted into its annual all-star game during a show aired on NFL Network, honors decided by voting from fans, players and coaches.
Woodson wasn’t the only Raiders to make the team. Fullback Marcel Reece and Khalil Mack also made the team. The Pro Bowl will be played on Jan. 31, 2016 in Hawaii, the week prior to the Super Bowl at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
Mack made the team despite finishing sixth in fan voting among defensive ends. He is well respected by coaches and his peers. The honor is deserved. Mack has 15 sacks with two games remaining. He also has 21 tackles for a loss and two forced fumbles. Mack should be in the conversation to be the league’s Defensive Player of the Year.
Reece’s stats are down this year, but he’s a well-respected player at a position that isn’t used regularly. This will be Reece’s fourth-straight trip to the Pro Bowl. Reece was the Raiders’ only representative for the last three years.
Most focus will rightfully be on Woodson, who said a few weeks back that a Pro Bowl honor would be special at his advanced age.
“It would mean something,” Woodson said. “I’m a player people consider to be done a few years ago. To be in year 18, and to have that possibly is pretty big. Do you play for those things? Not necessarily. But, when you go out and work hard, you kind of are. What it feel good to have that happen? Absolutely.”
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, rookie receiver Amari Cooper and running back Latavius Murray were named as Pro Bowl alternates. Odds are great that one or more of those guys will play in Hawaii, considering how many players drop out of the exhibition. Players on teams that make the Super Bowl will automatically drop out, and others typically back out due to injury or personal reasons.
Carr's inclusion seems likely, considering the quarterbacks in front of him could make deep postseason runs.