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Raiders want ex-QB Russell to pay back $9.5M in advanced money

The Oakland Raiders confirmed Thursday that they have filed a grievance seeking to recoup money from former quarterback JaMarcus Russell.

A source with knowledge of the situation told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora the team wants roughly $9.5 million.

"We have filed a grievance against JaMarcus Russell, and that's all we're going to say at this time," Raiders general counsel Jeff Birren said in a statement.

Russell's agent, Eric Metz, didn't immediately return an e-mail from The Associated Press. He earlier told Yahoo! Sports, which first reported the story, that: "The money in question was fully guaranteed. That is why JaMarcus was forced to hold out and miss all of training camp as a rookie. The Raiders know that, and this is our only comment."

The Raiders are trying to retrieve money that was advanced to Russell in 2008. The NFL Players Association is representing Russell in the matter.

According to La Canfora, one source dubbed the potential ruling in the case as "50/50," depending on the interpretation of some language in Russell's contract. Russell was paid salary advances for the 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons.

The Raiders released Russell earlier this month, not long after they acquired quarterback Jason Campbell in a draft-weekend trade with the Washington Redskins. Russell had been paid about $36.4 million over three seasons and was still owed $3 million at the time he was cut.

After being the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft, Russell's career in Oakland had a rocky start. He didn't sign a contract until after the first regular-season game of his rookie year in 2007 as the two sides haggled over the language of guaranteed money, among other issues.

Russell started only one game as a rookie before showing some signs of progress in his second season. He regressed last year, however, as he was fined for being overweight and criticized by the Raiders' coaching staff for his work ethic.

Russell ultimately lost his starting job midway through last season, and his passer rating of 50.0 was the lowest in the NFL since 1998. Three weeks ago, Raiders owner Al Davis finally decided to cut ties with the player he once believed would be his franchise quarterback.

Russell won just seven of his 25 starts with the Raiders. He completed 52.1 percent of his passes in his career with 18 touchdowns, 23 interceptions, 15 lost fumbles and a 65.2 rating.

Russell hasn't yet signed with another team.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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