New coach Turner hopes to keep cornerback

Updated: February 21, 2004, 6:07 PM ET
Associated Press

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders designated cornerback Charles Woodson their exclusive franchise player Saturday, giving the team sole negotiating rights with the four-time Pro Bowl selection.

"Placing this designation on Charles allows that he will remain with the Raiders next year," new coach Norv Turner said. "Hopefully we can enter into a long-term deal in the future which will allow Charles to be a Raider for many years to come."

By placing the franchise tag on Woodson, the Raiders will tender a minimum of the average salary for the top five cornerbacks in the NFL or 120 percent of his previous season's salary, whichever is greater.

Woodson, selected by the Raiders in the first round of the 1998 NFL draft, said after last season he would not play for former coach Bill Callahan, who was eventually fired by owner Al Davis after the team's 4-12 season. Woodson was Callahan's most outspoken critic.

If the Raiders had deemed Woodson non-exclusive franchise player, he could negotiate with other clubs.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press