By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, February 9th, 2012 at 2:56 pm in Oakland Raiders.
The new regime of the Raiders has begun erasing what it believes to be the mistakes of the past, with the first big move coming in the release of cornerback Stanford Routt Thursday.
Routt was signed last offseason to a three-year, $31.5 million contract extension that at the time made him the third highest cornerback in the NFL just a few days before the NFL lockout began.
Routt was retained by owner Al Davis while at the same time the club made no effort to re-sign Nnamdi Asomugha, who eventually signed with the Philadelphia Eagles.
A later restructure boosted the value of the deal to five years and $54.5 million.
Routt’s contract reportedly guaranteed him $20 million, meaning the Raiders could be out that amount depending on wording of the deal. Adam Caplan reported that Routt’s $5 million base salary was guaranteed if he was on the roster as of Friday. Routt still is due a $5 million roster bonus, which is guaranteed.
In 2012, Routt had four interceptions _ second on the team to free safety Matt Giordano _ but played inconsistently and led the team in penalties with 17.
Following the press conference announcing the hiring of coach Dennis Allen, general manager Reggie McKenzie said the team would begin examining contracts and and personnel while putting their financial house in order.
“From where we are, we’ve got some contracts that are kind of out of whack, but in discussions and viewing the cap situation, we should be fine,;; McKenzie said. “We don’t have to make wholesale changes.’’
Routt’s release would seem to serve notice that anyone making a big salary on the Raiders’ underachieving defense could be affected.
Defensive tackle Richard Seymour is in the second year of a two-year, $30 million extension with $15 million due this season, and linebacker Kamerion Wimbley signed a five-year, $48 million contract with a reported $29 million in guarantees.
A year ago, the Raiders starting cornerbacks were Nnamdi Asomugha and Routt. As of now, the only cornerbacks under contract are second-year players Chimdi Chekwa and DeMarcus Van Dyke, as well as veteran Chris Johnson. It’s still possible that first-year defensive coordinator Jason Tarver will follow through with the plan to convert free safety Michael Huff to cornerback next season.
The Raiders also announced the addition of two more coaches, confirming the hire of Keith Burns to be the assistant special teams coach and Johnny Holland to coach linebackers. Burns was the secondary coach at Mississippi, Holland the linebackers coach for the Houston Texans.