McKenzie shows prowess in showing Routt the door

McKenzie shows prowess in showing Routt the door
February 10, 2012, 12:55 am
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Still wondering if Reggie McKenzie is truly running the Raiders show?Stanford Routt isn't.McKenzie releasing the high-priced cornerback less than a year after Routt re-structured his contract, and a day before he was reportedly due 5 million, was a clarion call to all over-paid, under-performing Raiders on the roster. You know, the guys derisively referred to as being "on an Al Davis scholarship."Officially, McKenzie became the first Raiders general manager since Davis on Jan. 10. Thursday, McKenzie hit his first mile marker on the job.
NEWS: Raiders release CB Stanford Routt
Consider: just about a year ago Routt was re-signed by Davis to a three-year, 31.5-million contract, with 20 million guaranteed, before being re-structured to a five-year, 54.5 million deal in training camp, with the same 20 million guaranteed. And according to rotoworld.com, Routt was due to make 5 million in base salary this season with another 5 million in a "signing bonus."Did his play warrant such money?Routt's "burn rate" this past season rose to 47.4 percent, after being among the league leaders with a 39.4 percent in 2010, and he gave up eight touchdown passes.Routt was the most penalized player in the NFL last season, drawing 17 flags, including nine in the last three games. His 17 penalties -- eight for holding, seven for pass interference, one each for illegal use of hands and personal foul -- were nearly as many as the entire Green Bay Packers defense.And yetRoutt, who also had a career-best four interceptions, was the best cornerback on the Raiders roster. By far.So why do you cut the the best player on a unit that was a stark weakness?Perhaps the Raiders have all the trust in the world in second-year corners DeMarcus Van Dyke and Chimdi Chekwa to blossom in 2012? Maybe the rumored move of Michael Huff from free safety to cornerback is more than a rumor? Or might the Raiders be in the market for a more inexpensive free agent, someone like Brent Grimes, Cortland Finnegan, Brandon Carr, Carlos Rogers or Terrell Thomas, as listed by rotoworld?New coach Dennis Allen cut his teeth as a secondary coach in New Orleans, so he might have more than an inkling as what he likes and dislikes in his cornerback play.Routt did not return texts or voicemails. Neither did McKenzie.Then again, the move was loud enough.