The Las Vegas Raiders were well-represented in the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021 after two of their own made the cut in Tom Flores and Charles Woodson.
For Flores, the honor had been long overdue considering his contributions as a trailblazer and champion of the game. Although his may have taken longer than it should have, Woodson was given the distinction of being a first-ballot Hall of Famer thanks to his impressive resume.
Woodson’s status as a Hall of Famer has been set in stone ever since he retired following the 2015 campaign. Regardless, it seems even he was caught off guard by the news.
Pro Football Hall of Fame President David Baker paid Woodson a visit to let him know that his legacy is set to be enshrined in Canton forever, via the < a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ui7gaUyTJSM" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">team’s official Youtube:
Woodson’s emotional reaction to hearing the news is indicative of just how much this honor means to the game’s best. Although his place in Canton had been deemed a foregone conclusion over the last five years, he still could not hold back the tears while being surrounded by family.
The defensive back was taken with the fourth overall pick by the Raiders in the 1998 NFL Draft fresh off a Heisman Trophy-winning campaign with Michigan. Woodson wasted no time in following through on the hype by emerging as an integral piece of the defense early on.
Woodson played 11 of his 18 seasons in the Silver and Black for Oakland. He finished his illustrious career as a nine-time Pro Bowl selection, eight-time All-Pro, Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 and Super Bowl XLV champion. The looming Hall of Famer registered the fifth-most interceptions in NFL history (65) while also forcing 33 fumbles, recorded 20 sacks and had three 90-tackle seasons.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement ceremony is scheduled to be held in August.