Johnson signing could impact Russell's deal Print
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Friday, 03 August 2007 12:42
NFL Headline News

 NAPA, Calif. (AP) -No. 1 overall selection JaMarcus Russell is the only player chosen in the top 10 of the draft without a contract following recent deals reached by second pick Calvin Johnson and No. 5 Levi Brown.
Oakland Raiders coach Lane Kiffin said it's too early to tell if those contracts will help speed up the team's negotiations with Russell.
``It all depends,'' Kiffin said Friday. ``Sometimes it does. You know how it works. If he signs and gets a lot, then it works for one side. If he doesn't, it works for the other side. That does somewhat have to do with it, but it's just another contract being posted.''
NFL.com reported Friday that Johnson received a six-year contract from the Detroit Lions that includes $27.2 million in guarantees and another $4.5 million in bonuses that the receiver could earn by the middle of this season with a minimal amount of playing time.
``There's so many things into it,'' he said. ``That's the way people read it, but there's so many things. When does he get that, how does he get it? How much of it is truly guaranteed based off of other things?''
Talks between the Raiders, Russell and his agent, Eric Metz, have been ongoing for weeks and the quarterback has missed the first 12 practices of training camp. Metz has not commented publicly on the talks.
Russell is said to be seeking a deal worth $60 million. Last year's No. 1 overall pick, defensive end Mario Williams of the Houston Texans, signed a six-year, $54 million deal that included $26.5 million in guaranteed money.
On Thursday, offensive lineman Levi Brown, the No. 5 overall pick, agreed to a six-year contract with Arizona that could be worth up to $62 million with just over $18 million of it guaranteed.
Then came Johnson's deal with Detroit. The only other unsigned first-round picks are cornerback Darelle Revis (14th, New York Jets), quarterback Brady Quinn (22nd, Cleveland), receiver Dwayne Bowe (23rd, Kansas City) and linebacker Jon Beason (25th Carolina).
With Russell back home in Alabama, Andrew Walter, Josh McCown and Daunte Culpepper are sharing the quarterback duties for the Raiders. The three combined to throw four interceptions in the morning practice, something Kiffin said needs to be rectified immediately.
``We have to break some habits that, some practice habits, that a lot of quarterbacks are in,'' he said. ``When the rush comes, they say, 'OK, I was kind of sacked so I just throw the ball up.' Well, we're not going to do it that way because you practice the way you play. We've got to break those habits.''
 

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