All present and accounted for as Raiders open camp

The Raiders arrived for the start of training camp Thursday, all present and accounted for. That includes first-round draft pick Phillip Buchanon, who came to terms with the team and signed a contract less than 24 hours before he was due in Napa. It also includes quarterback Rich Gannon, whose contract dispute with management became the consuming story of the offseason.

In all, 86 players checked in to the Marriott Hotel which will be home for the next 26 days. The order for the first day was light, with physicals, sprints and meetings assuming the majority of the schedule. Full workouts won't begin until Friday when the Raiders will begin two-a-day practices.

Buchanon, the 17th overall selection in April's draft, joined running back Larry Ned and quarterback Ronald Curry as the last of the Oakland's rookies to sign contracts. Buchanon's deal is reported to be for $7 million over five years, includes a $4 million signing bonus and has escalators in the contract that could make it worth as much as $12 million when all is said and done.

Buchanon didn't talk to reporters on Thursday, but Raiders head coach Bill Callahan said it was a welcomed sight to have all of Oakland's rookie class under contract and in camp.

''We expect our rookies to get signed so that they're able to contribute and not get behind,'' said Callahan. ''I think it was good on their part they got in early, because I think they understand that this is a veteran team and they don't want to get behind, especially with the depth and the competition at each position.''

While Buchanon wasn't talking, Gannon was. The two-time Pro Bowl MVP had boycotted requests for for interviews during the June mini-camp, when his contract was still in doubt. But after inking a six-year, $54 million deal recently, Gannon was ready to move on.

''I'm real excited,'' said Gannon. ''It was a difficult offseason to have to deal with all that. There's a lot of distractions. I'm happy it's behind me and I'm happy I'm able to come here and focus on football.''

The entire roster was put through 10 110-yard sprints to check their conditioning. Players are given a time in which to complete the drill, the times varying by position. According to Callahan, not all of the 86 players passed the conditioning. Callahan said the list of those who failed included some of the rookie draft class, though neither Buchanon nor linebacker Napoleon Harris -- Oakland's other first-round pick -- was among them. Those who didn't pass will have to do extra conditioning following the morning and afternoon practices, Callahan said.

''With the concern being with the event of Korey Stringer a year ago we wanted to take every precaution and assure that our team was all tested and all in shape and condition for what they are ready to go through,'' said Callahan. ''But I feel really good about where we are in our conditioning. We've done a tremendous job from the trainer's standpoint from Rod Martin's standpoint for making sure that every precaution has been taken as we enter this camp.''

In what amounted to a mere formality, defensive end Regan Upshaw and backup quarterback Bobby Hoying were both placed on the NFL's physically-unable-to-perform list on Thursday, the Raiders announced. Neither player was expected to take part in training camp due to injuries, so the move came as no surprise. All it does is preclude Oakland from having to make a decision on either player until Aug. 27.

Upshaw tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the team's June mini-camp and had surgery shortly thereafter. The Raiders are holding out hope that Upshaw, who led Oakland in sacks in 2001, might be able to return to the active roster before the end of the regular season, though even Upshaw has hinted that scenario is unlikely.

The news is even worse for Hoying, who has been battling elbow problems for the better part of 10 months. The backup to Gannon the past two seasons, Hoying originally injured his elblow last September during practice prior to Oakland's Sept. 30 game against Seattle. He eventually underwent surgery in November and had hoped to resume throwing during the Raiders offseason workouts, but as of yet there has been little progress.

Though the Raiders are publicly remaining optimistic, there are private concerns that Hoying's NFL career is in jeopardy. According to a source within the organization, the team has been aware of the severity of Hoying's injury for some time, which is why the team signed veteran Rick Mirer and drafted Ronald Curry with their seventh-round pick in last April's draft.

''It appears to me that he's going to need the full nine months of rehabillitation,'' said Callahan. ''It was initially scheduled for nine months and we were hopeful that the rehabillitation would have been accelerated so that he could come into camp and participate. But we're patient. That surgery is a tough surgery to come back from. When you have lapses and you have situations where that elbow gets sore and puts you behind weeks in your throwing program, it doesn't allow you to make the type of progress that you want.''

Callahan said that on Aug. 27 the decision will be made to either activate, release or extend the PUP list period for both players.


In addition to signing their remaining draft picks and putting Upshaw and Hoying on the PUP list, the Raiders also released punter Ed Howard, wide receiver Kevin McKenzie and linebacker Jim Emanuel. Also on Thursday, Oakland signed wide receiver Joshua Johnson.


''I'm tired already just thinking about it,'' said Raiders place-kicker Sebastian Janikowski, prior to heading out to a camp-opening physical that included a series of 110-yard sprints.

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