posted on Aug, 31 2004 @ 07:34 PM
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Charles Woodson's monthlong holdout didn't yield the "boat load of money" he said he was looking for, so it was time to show up at
Oakland Raiders' training camp.
Woodson signed a one-year tender for $8.782 million on Tuesday, joining the team for the first time after a 33-day holdout.
"I think everybody is just ready for me to get in here, and get into the thick of things and get ready to play football," he said. "The players, they
understand my side. The coaches, all of them have been through it before with other players so this is nothing new to anybody. I'm not the first to do
this and I certainly won't be the last. I think right now everybody is just ready for me to get out there and play ball."
Woodson wanted a longterm deal and hoped the leverage of a holdout would force the Raiders to negotiate with him. But before he could talk about
another deal or come to camp, he had to sign the tender offer.
The Raiders placed the franchise tag on Woodson in February. The 27-year-old Woodson, who's entering his seventh pro season, reportedly wants to be
the highest paid cornerback in the NFL.
"I'd be lying if I said it wasn't about the money," Woodson said. "What player doesn't want to make a boat load of money? I'm one of those players. It
didn't get done. I'm still going to make great money by any measure this year. We'll see what happens."
Woodson reported to camp with no guarantee that the Raiders would negotiate a longterm deal and could face the same predicament next offseason.
"We did everything we could do," Woodson said. "We wanted an assurance before I came in here that they were going to do a longterm deal, so as you can
see, the tender wasn't signed and we couldn't do a deal. Now I'm here. I signed the tender. And I'm not worrying about the longterm or anything like
that right now."
Coach Norv Turner said Monday that Woodson wouldn't play in Thursday's exhibition finale against St. Louis. Turner also said Woodson wouldn't start
and would play nickel back in the Raiders' season-opener Sept. 12 at Pittsburgh.
Woodson, however, expects to be in the starting lineup when the team opens the season.
"That's my plan," he said. "I don't want to be around and not be playing or starting. So I'm going to do everything I can to get myself ready so ...
when we play Pittsburgh, I'll be the starter."
Woodson had been working out twice a day in Houston, so the Raiders aren't as concerned about his fitness level as they are about his ability to play
catch-up in new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan's 3-4 scheme.