In the end, Juron Criner and his agent concluded a fight against NFL guidelines was a no-win situation and getting the promising receiver to Oakland training camp in time overrode the importance of the fight.
Predictably, a dispute over bonus money ended Sunday morning when the fifth-round pick from Arizona signed with the Raiders. He was the final draft pick in the AFC West to sign. The Raiders begin training camp Monday.
Criner wanted $158,000 in signing bonus money because it was in line with what the picks taken just before him received. However, he was the first supplemental pick of the round and the bonus money slotting for supplemental picks dip dramatically. The Raiders were offering $144,000 because it was in line with the NFL Management Council guidelines. Few around the NFL thought Criner would win the fight and they were right.
According to a source close to the situation, Criner received what the Raiders were offering with some adjustments later in the contract. Ultimately, Criner’s dispute was not with the Raiders, but with the NFL’s guidelines. That fight was simply not worth pursuing for a young player who couldn’t afford to miss any camp time.
Criner did the right thing by signing his deal. Now he can go concentrate on making an instant impact with the Raiders.
In other AFC West news:
The winner in the Chargers' issues at backup quarterback is undrafted rookie Jarrett Lee. The LSU product has been impressive so far. Backup Charlie Whitehurst is out for a couple of weeks with a knee injury. The team signed Kyle Boller for the short-term, but he retired after one day. The Chargers will likely bring in another camp arm while Whitehurst heals, but in the meantime Lee is getting valuable extra work.
The Raiders signed two undrafted rookies -- linebacker Chad Kilgore of Northwest Missouri State and receiver DeAundre Muhammad of Indiana.