Asomugha doesn't want contract talk to linger

Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha stands to make a lot of money next year, be it as a free agent or as the Raiders' franchise player. Whatever the course he takes, Asomugha wants his situation resolved quickly and doesn't want it to drag on like it did a year ago.

"It's definitely important for me to get my situation straightened out, whatever direction that is," Asomugha said Wednesday. "I feel it's 100 percent important for me to get it taken care of. I don't want it to go against what I'm feeling and what I want. That's pretty much it. I really want it to work out the way I would like it to work out."

Ideally that would mean a different address for Asomugha, who shunned a long-term offer from the Raiders last year because of his concern over the direction of the franchise.

Asomugha was highly outspoken when the team waived DeAngelo Hall and was critical following Oakland's loss last week to San Diego when he questioned some of the Raiders players attitude. In the locker room after the Chargers game, several players could be heard laughing and joking while Asomugha lamented the team's poor performance.

On a conference call with Patriots beat writers Wednesday, Asomugha said his disappointment in Oakland has reached a new low.

"My frustration level has hit a different level this season than it has hit in any other season," Asomugha said. "I know that we still have three games left and we still have a chance to leave with some modicum of respect. If we can go out in these next three games and play with some pride and more accountability, then we have a chance. But I think it's clear that, just not myself, but a few of us are frustrated by the season that we're having."

Asomugha figures to get one of his better tests this week when the Raiders host the Patriots and wide receivers Randy Moss and Wes Welker. Moss, the one-time Raider who was traded to New England for a fourth-round draft pick, used to battle Asomugha in practice while both men were in Oakland and the Raiders' veteran cornerback says he learned a lot from those clashes.

"I know most of his moves but some of them are just unorthodox so you really don't know how to gauge what he's doing," Asomugha said. "He always had a different way of getting to the routes, a dig, a slant. He always did it a different way so it was difficult to cover but it was always good work. He taught me a lot about playing corner and helped me a lot with my confidence, so it will be good to go back against him now and see how that works out."

In other team news:

· Quarterback JaMarcus Russell took the majority of snaps with the first-team offense but skipped the final portion of practice as a precautionary measure. Russell, who was knocked out of last week's loss to San Diego after spraining his right ankle, wore a protective boot when leaving Oakland's locker room following practice but is expected to start against the Patriots on Sunday.

"In terms of during the week, his workload and everything, he looked really sharp today in terms of getting on his back foot and getting off it," Cable said. "Just being smart with it."

· NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was invited to attend the game by the Raiders and apparently has accepted, according to a team spokesperson.

· Center Jake Grove practiced on a limited basis and is expected to return to the starting lineup against New England after sitting out the past four games with a calf injury.

"We'll see how it is tomorrow," Cable said. "We kind of limited his reps. He did all of individual and one on one stuff was fine. Team looked fine in the reps he took. So we'll see how he is. If he's good to go tomorrow we'll up that and then Friday try to go all day."

· Cable said he doesn't expect the Patriots to change much if quarterback Matt Cassel is unable to play. Cassel's father passed away earlier this week and he was not at practice Wednesday.

"We have to just stay the course," Cable said. "They will do the same thing. They will be who they are."

Oakland's interim head coach had a lot of praise for Cassel, who stepped in for the Patriots after Tom Brady suffered a season-ending injury in September.

"The thing that jump outs at me is the guys around him, they have really stepped up," Cable said. "The two receivers have been outstanding obviously and then he's got a good O line and when they need to run it they can. Good tight end play. I think when you really watch his development it's been a little up and down but then he kind of got going with some consistency and really guys just are making a lot of plays around him."


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