NAPA, Calif. -- The Art Shell era has just begun and
Jerry Porter is already having problems with his new coach.
A day after publicly demanding a trade, Porter sat out practice
Wednesday with a calf injury. While other injured players such as
Ronald Curry were on the field with their teammates for part of
practice, Porter was nowhere to be seen during workouts.
Porter declined to talk to reporters Wednesday, but Shell said
the trade request was a "non-issue" and the team is unlikely to
grant his request.
Porter told the San Francisco Chronicle in a story printed
Wednesday that he has asked the Raiders to trade him. Porter
described a strained relationship that began shortly after Shell
took over the team in February, when Porter told the coaching staff
he would do most of his offseason workouts in Florida and that "I
don't like the way things are going around here."
Shell said there's nothing to "iron out" with Porter and that
coaches and players don't always see "eye to eye."
"There's guys every year that might not want to be on a team,
but, hey, part of this business is you play with who you've got,"
Shell said. "If we have somebody on this team that's here, whether
he said he wants to be here or not, if he's doing what he's
supposed to do, then we'll go to work."
Porter left Tuesday's morning practice wearing a belt adorned
with huge gold dollar signs. He came out for the afternoon practice, but did not participate because of the calf injury.
Shell said he would check on Porter's status with the training
"He wasn't out there, so we have to move forward," Shell said.
Porter is in the second year of a five-year deal worth $20
million, making it difficult for the Raiders to cut or trade him
because of salary cap issues.
Porter was sidelined for much of training camp last year with a
pulled hamstring, missing three weeks of practice and all four
preseason games. He made it back for the season opener, but started
slowly and did not catch his first touchdown pass until the seventh
"I wasn't here last year so I don't know that," Shell said.
"It's always important that every player make practice. Practice
makes you better. Every rep you get makes you better, so the
quicker we can get any of our injured guys back the better off
Porter, a second-round pick out of West Virginia in 2000, has
239 catches for 3,215 yards and 24 touchdowns in six seasons with
the Raiders. He has never reached 1,000 yards receiving in a
season, missing the mark narrowly with 998 yards in 2004 and 942
Porter, who led the team with 76 catches last season, is being
counted on as the No. 2 receiver behind Randy Moss. The team has
few proven options behind those two receivers.
Curry is coming back from his second straight season-ending
injury to his left Achilles' tendon and has had more than five
catches in a season only once in four years in the NFL.
Doug Gabriel, who has 71 catches for 1,122 yards in three
seasons, is the other option.
Another possibility, Carlos Francis, had to be helped off the
field Wednesday with a left hamstring injury and was to undergo an
MRI. Francis injured the same hamstring on the first day of
practice last year and missed most of camp.
"It was an unfortunate thing because Carlos has been working
good in the offseason and the last couple of days," Shell said.
"Hopefully it's not too serious."