Woods played for the Auburn Tigers and was drafted by the Los Angeles Raiders in the 1st round (28th overall) of the 1984 Supplemental Draft. He played two seasons for the Raiders and one season for the Denver Broncos, mostly as a punt returner.
After leaving the NFL, Woods started a career as a building contractor. He founded Magic City Construction and C. W. Woods Contracting Services in 1985 and opened offices in the Farley Building. Both companies went into bankruptcy in 1997 after disputes with vendors and subcontractors. Mayor Larry Langford hired Woods to manage capital projects for the city, and the reorganized C. W. Woods Contracting won bids to construct the Birmingham Police Department West Precinct headquarters, the Fountain Heights Recreation Center and the Negro Southern League Museum.
Those contracts were terminated under William Bell's administration due to delays in construction. Woods filed a wrongful termination suit and won a $2.58 million judgment from the city in September 2015. In 2016 Woods appeared before the Birmingham City Council to accuse Michael Bell and David Merrida of the Birmingham Construction Industry Authority of demanding kickbacks from public contracts.
In March 2017 Woods announced his intention to challenge William Bell for Mayor of Birmingham in the August municipal election. Though he owns homes in Birmingham and Irondale, Woods moved into an apartment at the Park 35 on Clairmont and listed that as his primary address in updating his voting and driver's license registration. Activist Iva Williams filed a lawsuit seeking to disqualify Woods from the Mayoral race on the basis that he did not establish residency. The suit was dismissed by Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Donald Blankenship on the basis that Williams had no standing to challenge the result of an election that had not taken place yet.
In January 2021 Woods announced his candidacy for Mayor in the 2021 Birmingham municipal election.
- Edgemon, Erin (November 1, 2016) "Birmingham pays $2.58 million to contractor who won 2013 lawsuit." The Birmingham News
- Edgemon, Erin (November 22, 2016) "Builder, who won lawsuit against Birmingham, publicly accuses mayor's brother of corruption." The Birmingham News
- Archibald, John (December 9, 2016) "Contractor describes corruption, threats at city of Birmingham." The Birmingham News
- Edgemon, Erin (August 11, 2017) "Judge dismisses lawsuit claiming Birmingham mayoral candidate Chris Woods doesn't live in city." The Birmingham News
- Garrison, Greg (January 13, 2021) "Chris Woods runs for mayor, blames Woodfin for ‘riots’." The Birmingham News
- Chris Woods bio at Pro-Football-Reference.com