For those who have joked that JaMarcus Russell was stealing money from the Oakland Raiders with his performance or lack thereof, Al Davis apparently agrees. He didn’t break out the overhead projector for the local media, but he did file a grievance against his former first round choice seeking the repayment of $9.55 million.
Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports reports that his rookie contract had been altered and the $9.55 million in question was an advance on his salary from the years 2010, 2011, and 2012. JaMarcus Russell’s agent Eric Metz asserts that the entire amount was guaranteed and not subject to forfeiture.
Metz said, “The money in question was fully guaranteed. That is why JaMarcus was forced to hold out and miss all of training camp as a rookie.”
As it stands, JaMarcus Russell stands as a cautionary tale to both college prospects as to how to become known as an abject failure and to teams as to the hazards of handing out mega contracts to unproven rookies.
This is a long shot for the Oakland Raiders, especially with the acrimony building between the NFLPA which will be representing Russell and the ownership as the CBA negotiations continue. A Raider win would be a loud signal to the players that taking the money and jogging is unacceptable. On the other hand, the expected Russell win will reinforce the status quo.