Raiders checklist #3

Now that he's got the money that a top tier cornerback in the NFL deserves, Stanford Routt has to start playing like it. Despite what the Raiders say, Routt has been a disappointment thus far in his career and their decision to essentially have him replace two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha is a serious risk.

For one, Routt has never proven to be much better than a nickel or dime back. He routinely gets beat off the line of scrimmage despite having track speed, and doesn't recover when beaten.

To be fair, Asomugha had a lot of critics early on in his career before blossoming into arguably the best man-to-man cover corner in the business.

Routt, though, is no youngster. He's entering his seventh NFL season but has been nothing more than a part-time starter. Yet the Raiders paid him as if he's been to multiple Pro Bowls. Oakland's secondary has numerous issues heading into the 2011 season. Chris Johnson, the other starting cornerback, is coming off a down year when he lost his starting job — to Routt. The safeties are thin on depth and experience. Still, most of the attention will be on Routt. He's the one who got paid the big bucks, the one who is replacing the most popular player on the team and the one who made the Raiders believe parting ways with Asomugha might not be such a bad thing.

He better be right.

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