Though he has been seeking a long-term deal to remain in Oakland, no talks between the two sides have taken place. That raises the distinct possibility that Raiders owner Al Davis will be willing to let Woodson hit the free agent market.
Davis, who has not spoken about Woodson's situation this year, would have to fork out close to $13 million if he were to keep the franchise tag on Woodson in 2006. Though the salary cap is expected to rise possibly $10 million, Oakland has so many other issues to deal with that shelling out a large chunk of that cap space to one player might be difficult and foolhardy to do.
Raiders head coach Norv Turner had held out hope that Woodson would play again this season but the four-time Pro Bowl cornerback has not healed as quickly as team officials predicted earlier this year. He only recently began jogging and has spent most of his time working out in the weight room at the team's headquarters in Alameda.
Meanwhile, center Jake Grove practiced on Thursday but was unable to finish
his workout and is still questionable to play in the regular-season finale
against the New York Giants on Saturday night.
Grove, who has battled knee problems most of the season, could still suit up but would not be in a starting role, according to Turner.
''He took part in part of practice,'' Turner said of Grove, the team's second-round draft pick last year. ''We'll see. He may be inactive. If he's inactive he won't play.''
Tight end James Adkisson was elevated from Oakland's practice squad to take Woodson's spot on the 53-man roster.