Without Charles Woodson, the Green Bay Packers may not have a Super Bowl victory in the Aaron Rodgers era.
A ball-hawking defensive back, Woodson starred for both the Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers. Woodson’s résumé is littered with accomplishments. That includes an infamous Defensive Player of the Year trophy that Woodson arguably stole from Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis.
In February 2011, Woodson ensured that he would retire with at least one Super Bowl ring. The Packers later directly honored Woodson and his leadership on the rings.
Charles Woodson had a legendary NFL career
For nearly two decades, opposing quarterbacks knew they shouldn’t throw at Charles Woodson … and they did so anyway.
Oakland drafted Woodson, a Heisman Trophy-winning cornerback at Michigan, with the fourth overall pick in 1998. Woodson spent his first eight seasons in Oakland, snagging 17 interceptions, forcing 14 fumbles, and making four straight Pro Bowls to open his career.
Woodson also earned Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in 1998 and first-team All-Pro honors a year later.
Green Bay signed Woodson in the spring of 2006, and he instantly rewarded the Packers with eight interceptions. Woodson grabbed 38 interceptions — returning nine of them for touchdowns — and forced 15 fumbles in seven seasons and 100 starts with the Packers.
The veteran Woodson returned to Oakland in 2013 and, as a full-time safety, grabbed 10 interceptions across three years.
Woodson proved instrumental in the Packers winning a Super Bowl
Charles Woodson only grabbed two interceptions in 2010, his fewest in a full-16 game season since 1999.
Woodson still earned Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro honors in his age-34 season. In Aaron Rodgers’ third season as the starting quarterback, Woodson again dominated in the secondary and helped the Packers win an NFC wild card berth.
Riding Rodgers’ arm and the stingy defense, Green Bay made it all the way to Super Bowl 45. In a diving attempt to break up a pass thrown by Ben Roethlisberger, Woodson broke his collarbone midway through the game.
Woodson remained on the sideline and watched Green Bay hold on for a 31-25 victory at AT&T Stadium in Dallas.
The Packers directly honored Charles Woodson on the rings
Charles Woodson always embraced being a leader, and that role paid off when the Green Bay Packers needed him most.
Even after his Super Bowl injury, Woodson gathered his teammates together at halftime of the Big Game and inspired them to finish strong.
The Packers made sure to celebrate Woodson’s impact on the field and in the locker room. While designing the Super Bowl rings, the Packers included four words that Woodson emphasized during a postgame speech after the NFC championship game.
According to Madison.com, the Packers included Woodson’s plea for teammates to play with “one mind, one goal, one purpose, and one heart” inside the ring.
In an interview that night, Woodson reflected on what it meant having “mind, goal, purpose, and heart” all flanked by the number “1” on each ring.
“I cried enough this year, so I held it back. But it was definitely an emotional moment, a moment that I waited a long time for. And finally, it’s here. I get to hold up a championship ring.”
Each ring weighed 116 grams and included diamonds totaling 3.35 carats, according to Madison.com.