Woody Announces Retirement from Pro Football After 12 Seasons in NFL
Two-time Super Bowl-winning offensive lineman and former NFL standout Damien Woody is joining ESPN as an NFL analyst, and will appear on several studio programs such asSportsCenter, NFL Live, ESPN2’s First Take and ESPNEWS. Woody will make his ESPN debut in September. He announced his retirement from professional football at a press conference today.
Selected No. 17 overall in the 1999 NFL Draft as a center by the New England Patriots, Woody played for three teams – Patriots (1999 – 2003), Detroit Lions (2004 – 2007) and New York Jets (2008 – 2010) – in 12 NFL seasons. As a rookie, he played and started all 16 games of the season. In five seasons with the Patriots, Woody played in 78 regular-season games and started in 76 mostly as a center, anchoring the Patriots offensive line that won two Super Bowl rings in three years.
“Damien’s play on the field, leadership in the locker room, and understanding of the game, earned him the respect of his peers,” said Seth Markman, ESPN senior coordinating producer for NFL studio shows. “We are pleased to have Damien on our team, and his recent experience as a player will give our viewers a fresh perspective on the game.”
“I’m grateful for all the support over the years from my family, my fans, and the league,” said Woody. “I’m excited to start the next phase of my career, moving from the NFL family to the ESPN family, and I feel blessed to continue to be a part of the game of football.”
Over 12 seasons, Woody played 173 games, 166 as a starter. He earned two Pro Bowl selections in 2002 and 2004. In March 2004, Woody signed as a free agent with the Detroit Lions where he started every game in the 2004 and 2005 seasons.
In 2008, Woody signed with the New York Jets, moving to right tackle. His arrival gave the Jets’ offensive line four former first round picks (also center Nick Mangold, left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson and guard Alan Faneca), forming the nucleus of the team’s back-to-back appearances in the AFC Conference Championships in 2009 and 2010.
Born in Beaverdam, Va., Woody’s team at Patrick Henry High School in Ashland, Va., won the 1994 State Football Championship. He attended and played football at Boston College. Woody lives with his wife, Nicole, and their six children in New Jersey.
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