Earlier this season, Porter expressed his desire to void the last season of his contract after the Raiders, who finished their 2004 season with a 13-6 loss at home to the Jacksonville Jaguars, reportedly wanted to trade him. Porter spent his first four seasons in the NFL as an understudy to future Hall-of-Famers Tim Brown and Jerry Rice.
The Raiders parted ways with both individuals at varying points this season. Porter, however, became dismayed when not featured as the bigger part of the offense. Then, injuries beset the Raiders receivers and Porter became a more focal point. He just wished it had come sooner.
"When that was going on I was like, ‘Maybe I need to be a starter elsewhere,'" Porter said.
Porter led the Raiders with 64 grabs for 998 yards and nine touchdowns, setting career highs in two of the three categories and tying in the other. Porter had a pair of three touchdown receiving games along the way. Quarterback Kerry Collins openly voiced that resigning Porter should be among the Raiders biggest offseason moves on their priority list.
"It felt great and that's the thing that started it all," Porter said of Collins' comments. "I don't know who I was talking to. I think it probably at noon that day I was asked if I had been offered anything, I was like, ‘No I had not.' After Kerry said that at 9 o'clock that night my agent had an offer on the table for me. It was a step in the right direction."
When the next step takes place, is anyone's guess but Porter appears to have relented on his stance if only slightly. Porter hopes it is sooner rather than later.
"I've gotten a few offers from the Raiders," Porter said. "I'm not going to try to strong arm them and say I need this by this time or else. I'm going to weigh my options and let them see what they want to do. I plan to be done by like March 5. The start of free agency is one of the early days of March. I was probably one of the top 5 lowest paid starting receivers. If that's a distinction you want. As far as being a starting receiver, I feel like I've paid my dues. That was my rookie deal and I ain't a rookie no more."
Vince D'Adamo can be reached at email@example.com