Porter issue could derail Raider train

With all the drama that Oakland has persisted through in the last several years, the new coaching staff - which brought back some of the old - was supposed to be a refreshing blast of clean air. But the dirty laundry remains and Jerry Porter has been eager to tell the tale.

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Jerry Porter, known for his many moods, has taken that phase of his personality to a new level.

His discontent with the organization was rumored for weeks, first floated by ex-Raider Lincoln Kennedy on a local radio show.

Porter, the Raiders' leading receiver last season with 76 receptions, confirmed on the first day of Raiders training camp he would rather be elsewhere, although he gave two rather conflicting interviews on the same day.

In a column in the San Francisco Chronicle, Porter stated his demand to be traded, detailed a shouting match with coach Art Shell shortly after the new coach was hired and said the argument began over his decision to train at a new home in Florida rather than at the club facility.

The same day, Porter told an Oakland Tribune columnist he was resigned to remaining with the Raiders for two more years until his contract voided, but confirmed his level of unhappiness.

"Everybody, no matter who you work with, has somebody at their job they don't like," Porter said in reference to Shell.

According to a Page 2 column in ESPN.com, Porter's problem with the Raiders goes beyond Shell. At a charity basketball tournament at Venice Beach on July 7, Porter seemed upset about Shell's choice of Tom Walsh as offensive coordinator.

Walsh has not coached in the NFL since 1994, when he was dismissed from the Raiders along with Shell, and he has been out of coaching since 1999. The Raiders had conversations with Mike Martz, who ended up as the Lions offensive coordinator.

"I'm furious," Porter said. "They might as well trade me. I wanted Mike Martz as my coach and a real offense that's proven in today's NFL. Not something dusted off from a bed and breakfast in God knows where."

Shell brushed aside the Porter issue, essentially echoing the notion that everyone in life must work with someone they don't like. If Porter produces on the field, Shell said, they would have no problems.

Porter then sustained a calf injury that caused him to miss two days of practice.

Meanwhile, Porter went to and from practice wearing a belt roughly the size of a boxing championship belt adorned with dollar signs. His T-shirt of choice for two days displayed two hands -- one with an extended middle finger and the other pointing at whoever was looking at the shirt.

The bottom line on Porter is the Raiders would sustain a $6.45 million acceleration against the 2007 salary cap if they were to trade him.

There seemed to be no bitterness with Porter's teammates, who have come to expect the unexpected.

However, defensive tackle Warren Sapp did sound off on the Porter issue to Sirius Satellite Radio, a wide-ranging rant which included this choice blast:

"People talk about football being a family. It's not a family," Sapp said. "It's a brotherhood of men. In a family, if the baby is lagging behind, everybody waits for the baby to catch up. We can't wait for the baby to catch up. We've got to go."


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