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Packers release record-setting defensive back Woodson

Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson (L) intercepts the ball against Chicago Bears wide receiver Earl Bennett (80) in the second hal
Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson (L) intercepts the ball against Chicago Bears wide receiver Earl Bennett (80) in the second hal

(Reuters) - The Green Bay Packers released record-setting defensive back Charles Woodson after a seven-year stint that included a Super Bowl championship, the National Football League (NFL) team said on Friday.

Woodson started in all 100 games he played for Green Bay since signing with the team as an unrestricted free agent in 2006 and holds franchise records for defensive touchdowns with 10 and the most interception returns for touchdowns with nine.

He was named to the Pro Bowl eight times during his career and was a key member of the Packers team that won the Super Bowl for the 2010 campaign, establishing career highs in tackles (105) and forced fumbles (five).

"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," Packers General Manager Ted Thompson said in a statement.

"A once-in-a-generation talent ... we look forward to his eventual induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame."

The 1997 Heisman Trophy winner as U.S. college football's top player, Woodson was selected by Oakland with the fourth pick in the 1998 draft and spent eight seasons with the Raiders before signing with the Packers.

Woodson won NFL defensive rookie of the year honors and became one of the league's premier defensive backs with 55 career interceptions.

He is the first NFL player to return an interception for a touchdown in five straight seasons and is tied for second in league history with 11 career interception returns for touchdowns.

Former Packers wide receiver Donald Driver announced his retirement earlier this year but the 36-year-old Woodson is expected to land with another NFL team, saying he wants to play for a Super Bowl contender.

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Frank Pingue)

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