Sources: Raiders reach agreement in principle with top pick Russell
Ending months of negotiations and a holdout that stretched to more than six weeks, the Oakland Raiders reached a contract agreement in principle on Monday night with JaMarcus Russell, the former LSU quarterback who was the first overall selection in the 2007 draft.ESPN.com has confirmed that -- barring any glitches and contingent on formalities like passing a physical exam -- Russell officially will sign a six-year contract Tuesday and should be on the field for the team's Wednesday practice. Russell arrived in the Bay Area on Tuesday and is expected to take a physical for the team. The quarterback was not going to fly to Oakland until his representatives felt comfortable with all the details of the contract. Sources said the contract, hammered out in four days of marathon face-to-face negotiations in the Bay Area, has a maximum value of $68 million. The deal also includes about $31 million-$32 million in guarantees and an attractive payout schedule that will enable Russell to earn substantially more in the first three seasons of the deal than the $20.95 million that Houston Texans defensive end Mario Williams, the top overall selection in the 2006 draft, will bank in his first three years. There are also guarantees in the fourth season of Russell's deal, and he will make more in that period than the $23.35 million that Williams will pocket in his first four years. So, while it appears that the Raiders were able to hold the guarantees in the range that they had been proposing in recent discussions, the long holdout seems to have garnered Russell a very advantageous payout structure.
From ESPN Radio
John Clayton reacts to JaMarcus Russell finally agreeing on a contract with the Raiders, but he thinks the season is basically lost for Russell. Clayton