Sports

Source: Raiders sign QB Russell

ALAMEDA -- JaMarcus Russell is on his way.

Russell, the first pick in the 2007 NFL draft, agreed to a six-year deal worth up to $68 million -- $31 million guaranteed -- Monday evening with the Raiders, according to a source familiar with the talks.

Russell is scheduled to fly to California this morning after spending all of training camp and the exhibition season splitting time between his hometown of Mobile, Ala., and Atlanta, and he is expected to be on the practice field Wednesday.

The Raiders met with Russell's agents, Ethan Lock and Eric Metz, on Friday in Oakland, and talks continued Saturday. It was the first face-to-face meeting between the sides since Aug. 20 in Los Angeles.

There was no movement Sunday because of a family emergency with Raiders finance officer Marc Badain.

The pace of negotiations increased dramatically, with owner Al Davis wanting a deal done as soon as possible, as he views Russell as the kind of talent that could help turn around the franchise.

Before last weekend, negotiations were marred by sporadic communication and accusations. Davis said Russell's agents weren't experienced at dealing with such a high pick. The same was said of the Raiders' negotiating team, led by director for football development Mark Jackson and Badain. Both sides said the other wasn't negotiating in good faith.

Monday afternoon, Raiders coach Lane Kiffin wouldn't put a day on when Russell would arrive but said he "definitely wouldn't be surprised" if Russell joined the team this week.

Russell is the first top overall pick to miss his team's season opener since 1986. That year, Bo Jackson played baseball rather than sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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