Raiders file grievance against Russell

Russell was benched for most of the second half of last season.
(Kirby Lee/US Presswire)

The Oakland Raiders have filed a grievance against former quarterback JaMarcus Russell(notes) seeking repayment of $9.55 million, the team confirmed Thursday.

The grievance is based on the contention by the Raiders that the contract was changed at one point during Russell’s three-year stint with the organization and that he’s not allowed to keep all of the money he had collected prior to his May 7 release. Russell, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft, was guaranteed $32 million as part of a six-year contract reportedly worth $68 million.

“We have filed a grievance against JaMarcus Russell and that’s all we’re going to say at this time,” Raiders attorney Jeff Birren said.

Part of the guaranteed $32 million was originally in the form of salary advances for the 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons. A portion of those salaries is in question, according to the grievance.

“The money in question was fully guaranteed. That is why JaMarcus was forced to hold out and miss all of training camp as a rookie,” said Eric Metz, one of Russell’s two agents. “The Raiders know that and this is our only comment.”

Russell will be represented in the grievance by the NFL Players Association.

Jason Cole is a national NFL writer for Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter. Send Jason a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.
Updated Thursday, May 27, 2010