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Woodson, Pace are franchise players

Feb. 21, 2004 at 11:12 PM

INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- The Oakland Raiders became the second team to put a franchise player designation on a Pro Bowl cornerback, putig the tag on Charles Woodson on Saturday.

The designation means the Raiders must tender Woodson a one-year contract equal to the average of the five highest-paid cornerbacks in the NFL last season, which is $6.8 million.

The Washington Redskins had already designated cornerback Champ Bailey, a Pro Bowler each of the last four years, as a franchise player, but gave him permission to seek his own trade.

Frustrated in their attempts to sign five-time Pro Bowl tackle Orlando Pace to a multi-year contract, the St. Louis Rams tagged him as a franchise player Saturday for the second straight year.

Last season, that obligated the Rams to pay Pace $5.73 million. This time, they will have to pay him $7.02 million, the average of the five highest-paid offensive linemen.

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