Cornerback forces team's financial hand

The Raiders didn't surprise anyone by placing the franchise tag on cornerback Charles Woodson, but what happened Friday caught them completely off guard.

Updated: February 25, 2005, 10:21 PM ET
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

The Oakland Raiders didn't surprise anyone by placing the franchise tag on cornerback Charles Woodson, but what happened Friday caught them completely off guard.

Charles Woodson
Cornerback
Oakland Raiders
Profile
2004 SEASON STATISTICS
Tot Ast Solo FF Sack Int
74 60 14 2 3 1

Woodson signed his one-year, $10.5 million franchise tender, which creates major cap problems for the Raiders. The Raiders are $15.7 million over the $85.5 million salary cap, not counting the Jerry Porter contract and the future acquisition of wide receiver Randy Moss, who has a $7.25 million salary.

Woodson's agent, Carl Poston, likely made the move because of the Raiders' cap issues and decided to not risk the chance of having the franchise tag pulled before he had a chance to sign it. Poston was in Indianapolis for the scouting combine and walked over to the Raiders hotel with a signed tender offer.

By signing it, the $10.5 million is guaranteed. He submitted copies to the league and the NFL Management Council.

Poston said the Raiders were surprised when they saw the signed contract. There was talk of having the franchise tag revoked or the possibility of having a trade.

The signing of Porter freed the club to designate the four-time Pro Bowl cornerback as its franchise player again.

Raiders coach Norv Turner sounded like a man expecting to see Woodson on his roster in a statement about the cornerback earlier in the week.

"We're pleased to retain the services of Charles Woodson," Turner said.

John Clayton is a senior writer for ESPN.com. Information from ESPN.com senior NFL writer Len Pasquarelli and The Associated Press was used in this report

John Clayton

NFL senior writer

ALSO SEE