First-round draft choice Rod Woodson, still not close to sig
Sep. 09, 1987
PITTSBURGH (AP) _ First-round draft choice Rod Woodson, still not close to signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers, said Wednesday he is prepared to sit out the 1987 season and pursue his track career.
The former Purdue University cornerback and high hurdler flew to Munich on Wednesday to rejoin the European track circuit. He had returned to his Fort Wayne, Ind., home last week as his agent and attorney held lengthy contract talks with Steelers negotiator Jim Boston.
''I'm a little disappointed I can't be playing football this fall,'' said Woodson, the 10th player selected in last April's NFL draft. ''It's my first year not playing in 12 years now. It's kind of hard for me, but I knew it wouldn't be easy.''
Woodson's attorney, Eugene Parker, and agent, Marvin Demoff, don't think negotiations will resume in the near future, especially since NFL players may go on strike in two weeks.
''I think (the Steelers) just put everything to a halt,'' Woodson said. ''I think the ball's in their court. If everything went well, I would be in there today or tomorrow.''
''He was made a good offer and we can't get it done,'' said Steelers President Dan Rooney.
The Steelers reportedly offered Woodson between $1.65 million and $1.7 million in base salary and roster and signing bonuses for four years. Performance bonuses could make the deal worth $1.9 million. Defensive tackle Jerome Brown, selected by the Philadelphia Eagles just ahead of Woodson, signed for $1.811 million over four years.
If he doesn't sign with Pittsburgh before the 1988 draft, the Steelers lose his rights and he would re-enter the draft pool.