Less than one year ago, Al Davis made Stanford Routt one of the cornerstones of the Oakland Raiders defense with a lavish contract that prevented him from reaching free agency. Now, Routt is the first player casualty under the new regime with the Raiders.
Routt was released on Thursday just one year into a five-year, $54.5 million contract, ending his seven-year tenure in Oakland as the team heads in a new direction.
The move by new general manager Reggie McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen signifies a change of approach from when Davis ran the team and was fiercely loyal to players he drafted. After the news conference announcing Allen's hiring on Jan. 30, McKenzie said the Raiders had some contracts that were "out of whack." Apparently, Routt's was one of them.
Routt got the big contract after grading out as one of the league's top cover cornerbacks in 2010. The opposition's 39.4 percent completion rate when throwing at him was the lowest of any player targeted at least 60 times that season, according to STATS LLC.
While he once again held opponents to a low completion percentage (47.4 percent) and allowed less than 6 yards per pass attempt for the season, according to STATS, Routt was credited with allowing eight touchdown passes -- tied for the second-most in the NFL -- and led the league with 17 penalties committed, according to STATS.
More changes are sure to come on the Raiders, who are coming off one of their worst defensive seasons ever during last year's 8-8 campaign. The Raiders posted franchise-worst marks in touchdown passes allowed (31), yards per carry (5.1), yards passing (4,262), and total yards (6,201), while giving up the third-most points (433) in team history. Oakland also became the sixth team since the 1970 merger to allow at least 2,000 yards rushing and 4,000 yards passing in a season.
The Raiders also set an NFL record last season with 163 penalties for 1,358 yards.
Routt has played 110 games with 53 starts since being drafted in the second round by Oakland in 2005.
Notes: The Raiders have hired two more assistant coaches, making Johnny Holland the linebackers coach and Keith Burns the assistant special teams coach.
The Associated Press contributed to this report