'Not much progress' in signing Russell
David White, Chronicle Staff Writer
Monday, July 30, 2007
Free-agent quarterback Cody Pickett was on the field, contract co-negotiator Mark Jackson was on the sideline and team owner Al Davis was watching from a golf cart.
Those were three big signs at training camp Sunday that the Raiders were nowhere near signing No. 1 draft pick JaMarcus Russell, who has missed the first three days of training camp with no arrival date in sight.
Though Russell isn't technically a holdout, because there is no contract in place, his absence is the longest by a top draft pick since the Raiders returned from Los Angeles 12 years ago, and they're starting to get antsy about it.
"Actually, going kind of slow right now with him at this time," coach Lane Kiffin after Sunday's single practice in Napa. "The last 24, 36 hours, not much progress has been made. We wish he was here.
"We're now getting to the point where we've had enough practices where it is going to be a disadvantage to him once he does get here because he is going to be behind."
Russell and his agents are not commenting on negotiations over a deal expected to include up to $30 million in guaranteed money. He is one of eight first-round draft picks who remains unsigned, including No. 2 pick Calvin Johnson of the Lions.
Facing a prolonged holdout, the Raiders signed Pickett on Saturday to share the split throws with third-string quarterback Jeff Otis.
Pickett spent the 2004-05 seasons with the 49ers, playing in six games and starting two. He played with the Rhein Fire during this past NFL Europa season.
Josh McCown and Andrew Walter took all the live snaps Sunday. Pickett threw to wide receivers and running backs during individual drills and played safety when McCown and Walter joined one particular drill.
Davis sighting: Davis attended his first practice of training camp Sunday, wearing a black sweat suit and white cap.
He was not made available for interviews. Last year, he attended only one practice at camp.
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