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Woodson can stay with Raiders without restructuring

5/7/2002

The six-year contract signed by safety Rod Woodson with the Oakland Raiders
last week totals just shy of $10 million, and is structured in a manner that
would permit the 15-year veteran to continue his career beyond 2002 without
having to dramatically restructure the deal.

Under the cap-friendly contract, the Raiders will be charged just $916,667
for Woodson in 2002, and in subsequent years the cap value never exceeds
$1.867 million.

Woodson, 37, received a $1 million signing bonus, according to NFL Players
Association documents, and his base salary for 2002 is $750,000.

His base salary is $1.7 million for 2003, when the cap value peaks, at
$1.867 million. The base salaries for the 2004-2007 seasons are $1.6 million
each. There are $50,000 bonuses for each of the 2006 and 2007 seasons. The
cap charge is $1.767 million for 2004-2005 and $1.817 million each for
2006-2007.

All of those cap charges are palatable, particularly if Woodson is still
productive and contributes on a consistent basis. The total value of
the contract is $9.95 million.

Although team officials have reiterated that Woodson hasn't been promised
the starting job at free safety, conventional wisdom is that he will bump
Anthony Dorsett Jr. from the top of the depth chart.

Despite his age and tenure in the league, Woodson's performance did not drop
markedly in 2001, when he had three interceptions and was named to his 10th
Pro Bowl game. He has 61 interceptions for his career, eighth-most in NFL
history.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com.