After a few weeks of silence, there finally appears to be some progress in the never ending battle of the Raiders and first pick of the draft QB JaMarcus Russell trying to come to terms. Monday the top men of the Raiders along with Russell’s representatives met in Los Angeles, and according to new Raiders coach Lane Kiffin: “they’re still knocking away at it.” This is a good sign, as for the past few weeks reports stated that the two sides were not even speaking, making it more apparent that Russell was going to be nowhere near the Raiders sideline come opening day vs the Lions.
Those inside the team are considering any talking the two sides do at this point to be a step in the right direction, and the fact that the meeting was face-to-face might be even more of an indication that things are about to get serious on both sides. Russell missed the entire Raiders training camp, and in doing so gave up any shot of being the starter at least to kickoff the 2007 season. Daunte Culpepper, who the Raiders signed a few weeks back, will start vs the Rams in preseason action this week, and looks to be gaining momentum to be the teams opening day starter.
As for Kiffin, he is finally getting some good news in the Russell talks, as he has been as anxious as anyone to get his prized first-round pick in camp. “Any time they can get together, that’s really the first time they’ve been together in person, with everybody together at a meeting, so I would assume that would be positive,” Kiffin stated on Wednesday. While Russell sits on the sidelines more and more, you can bet that as more money passes him by the talks will get stronger and stronger until the two sides can finally play “Let’s Make a Deal.”