After cutting quarterback JaMarcus Russell in May, Raiders owner Al Davis filed a non-injury grievance against the first overall pick in the 2007 draft. The grievance hopes to recover more than $9 million in base salary advances.
The grievance, when filed, was regarded as weak. At most, the grievance was regarded as a preemptive effort to obtain an offset as to any base salary earned by Russell with another NFL team in 2011 or beyond.
A league source tells us that Monday’s arrest of Russell may have resulted in the grievance getting considerably stronger.
If, as the source explained, the contract contains language voiding future guaranteed base salaries in the wake of a suspension (a tactic upheld in a grievance resolved last year against running back Larry Johnson by the Chiefs) and if the NFL suspends Russell if his codeine-possession charges result in a conviction, a guilty plea, or a plea of no contest, the Raiders would be able to argue that the guaranteed base salaries have voided — and that any advances provided to Russell on those voided guarantees can be recovered.
So, in other words, that may have been a very expensive batch of sizzurp.