Russell no longer savior of Raiders
ALAMEDA, Calif. — As JaMarcus Russell struggled through the worst statistical season for an NFL quarterback in more than a decade, Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis preached patience.
It appears that even Davis may have finally given up on his young quarterback.
With last weekend's trade for Jason Campbell, the Raiders seem ready to close the door on the exorbitantly expensive and unproductive Russell era in Oakland.
The only remaining question looks to be if they cut ties with the former No. 1 overall pick before this weekend's mandatory minicamp begins, wait until training camp, drag it out until final roster cuts or even keep Russell on the roster for another season as a backup. But his days as a starter are likely over.
After acquiring Campbell over the weekend from Washington for a 2012 fourth-round draft pick, coach Tom Cable didn't want to get into what the future held for Russell. Cable said he expected Russell to be at minicamp Friday.
"There will be some decisions to be made here in the next month or so, whatever that is," Cable said. "We'll just leave it at that until we get through some of those decisions. Right now we felt like adding Jason to this football team was very important."
The Raiders showed their confidence in Campbell by extending his contract through 2011, giving him a $4.5 million deal that season on top of the $3.14 million he is owed this season.
If the Raiders do cut ties with Russell as expected, it will be an especially difficult decision for Davis. Davis believed Russell was the big-armed franchise quarterback he had been seeking to lead his team back to the Super Bowl when he took him first overall in 2007.
Davis made it clear when he fired Lane Kiffin in 2008 that drafting Russell was his idea, despite Kiffin's protests.
"He is a great player. Get over it and coach this team on the field," Davis read from a letter he sent Kiffin before the firing. "That is what you were hired to do."
A former first-round pick in 2005, Campbell was unwanted in Washington after new coach Mike Shanahan acquired Donovan McNabb.
Bengals: Cincinnati claimed running back Cedric Peerman off waivers from the Detroit Lions yesterday.
The 5-foot-9, 210-pound halfback was Baltimore's sixth-round pick last year. He played in the preseason, then was waived and claimed by Cleveland on Sept. 6. He spent four weeks on the Browns' practice squad and was released.
Cardinals: Arizona agreed to terms with free-agent left guard Alan Faneca on a one-year contract, three days after he was cut by the New York Jets. The team did not release financial terms yesterday.
The 33-year-old Faneca played the last two seasons for the Jets and has 128 consecutive starts over the past eight years.
Cowboys: Dallas signed tight end Scott Sicko, three days after the New Hampshire player said he was turning down the NFL to go to graduate school.
The 6-foot-4, 251-pound Sicko signed a free agent contract yesterday, reversing course on a decision that he wouldn't pursue NFL offers after he wasn't taken in the draft.
Panthers-Bears: Carolina traded starting strong safety Chris Harris to the Chicago Bears yesterday, continuing their offseason roster overhaul.
The Panthers got reserve linebacker Jamar Williams in the deal, while Harris returns to Chicago less than three years after he was traded to Carolina.