Steve Corkran of the Oakland Tribune reported from training camp yesterday that defensive end Derrick Burgess failed to show up for day one with no explanation.
The implication, according to Corkran, is that Burgess is taking a stand for more money from the Raiders. Burgess, 31, gets a base salary of $2 million.
It doesn't help that Burgess doesn't deserve a salary increase after his performance last season. He recorded a mere 3.5 sacks and only appeared in 10 games, plagued by injuries.
Burgess also missed out on all offseason voluntary practices because he prefers to train alone. Not such a great idea for a team-oriented sport.
The Raiders already tried to trade Burgess during the offseason and, as such, deepened their defense in preparation. The trade for Greg Ellis can now be explained, although his athletic ability and veteran status speak for themselves. As a defensive end for the Cowboys, Ellis recorded 36 tackles last year, 25 of them independently.
At 34 years old, Ellis, like Burgess, is a long-time veteran. This is his 13th season in the NFL. The Raiders have plenty of depth in this position, so why hike up the salary of a mediocre, self-centered player like Burgess?
This isn't the first time Burgess has been snooty about his contract. After Pro Bowl seasons in 2005 and 2006, Burgess approached management to restructure his contract. He failed.
It's time to say goodbye to a player whose record both on and off the field has not been so impressive.