The Oakland Raiders, who are already on the hook for $49.6 million in dead money this season to players no longer on the roster, are cutting a check to another former player in the next couple of weeks.

The Raiders are paying former quarterback JaMarcus Russell close to $3 million in a settlement over his disputed rookie contract, league sources said.

Russell was the team’s No. 1 overall draft pick in 2007, signing a 6-year, $68 million contract, and was waived in May 2010 after three unproductive seasons and weight issues.

He had been paid $36.4 million and was still owed $3 million at the time of his release. The Raiders filed a grievance against Russell, seeking repayment of $9.55 million in salary advances, and Russell filed a grievance of his own, saying he was owed an additional $9 million.

The Raiders’ grievance was based on their contention that the contract was changed at one point during Russell’s time with the organization. But the two sides were set to go to court recently, when a source close to the situation said the Raiders and Russell decided to settle.

The Raiders declined comment. Russell’s new agent, Eugene Parker, was unavailable for comment.
Russell’s previous agent, Eric Metz, told Yahoo Sports in 2010 that “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.”
Russell didn’t sign a contract until after the first regular season game of his rookie season. He started one game that year and then showed some progress in 2008 before he gained weight and coaches criticized his work ethic in 2009.