Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

09 Feb 2012

Raiders Release Stanford Routt

The Oakland Raiders announced they have released cornerback Stanford Routt. Routt signed a 3-year, $31.5 million extension last February which was restructured into a 5-year, $54 million deal in September for cap reasons. I thought Routt was clearly the Raiders' best corner last season, and do not really understand the move at all. Routt turns 29 in July and his release certainly adds to the corner depth available in free agency.

Posted by: Tom Gower on 09 Feb 2012

22 comments, Last at 14 Feb 2012, 5:56am by Eggwasp


by Aaron Schatz :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 6:49pm

Routt's charting numbers as of the data we've collected (with a handful of missing games): 5.9 yards per play, 60% success rate. Both of those numbers are Top 20 for cornerbacks with at least 40 targets.

by Guest789 :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 7:11pm

According to PFF he led the league in penalties at his position. That could be part of it.


“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.”

by talha :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 8:00pm

So they're releasing the whole defense?

by Guest789 :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 8:27pm

Routt is on a different level. He had 7 more penalties this year than Revis has had the past 4 years combined.


“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.”

by commissionerleaf :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 8:38pm

While not necessarily as crazy as not paying Nnamdi last year (assuming of course that they could have kept him at any price), this Grade-A Raiders Crypt-keeper-Al-Davis crazy.

Routt is a good cornerback, and while his penalties are a problem, his charting stats have borne out the faith the team had in him when it signed him to a long term deal to replace Nnamdi as their #1 corner. Letting him go is a huge mistake, and some team will get a good player at a cut rate... there are a lot of good corners on the market to drive down price. Most years, Routt would be a top CB on the market. This year, maybe not - Brandon Carr, Tracy Porter, Brent Grimes, and maybe Cortland Finnegan are all possibly better.

by dmstorm22 :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 11:56pm

I don't know what the charting data is for them, but the Raiders have drafted quite a few corners the last few years (2 in last year's draft) and have been good at developing them over the years. This is a strange move, but at his price, defensible. McKenzie probably wants the most cap flexibility he can get.

by Noah Arkadia :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 8:48pm

As raiderjoe will likely say, signing routt great move by al davis, releasing routt great move by mackenzie, whoever mckenzie signs to replace him will be great, mckenzie greatest gm in raider history since al davis

We are number one. All others are number two, or lower.

by Marko :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 12:47am

According to my English to Raiderjoe translator, you spelled "great" wrong. The correct spelling in Raiderjoe is "greta."

by Drespasser (not verified) :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 8:39am

Your translator needs an update... "gerat" it is nowadays.

by Theo :: Sat, 02/11/2012 - 4:34pm


by Hardy Har Har Nickerson (not verified) :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 8:54pm

Are penalties factored into FO's success rate and YPA stats? Because if so, that would imply that his penalties aren't a big deal and he truly is a top corner.

by Displaced Bolthead (not verified) :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 12:33am

What is going on in Oakland? Aside from the GM-HC dispute/replacement, retooling the offense, putting Al Saunders as a "senior offensive consultant", firing the DC, and releasing their best cornerback, I think they want the first pick of the 2013 draft.

by Michael19531 :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 12:54am

Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't the Bengals get Oakland's #1 pick in 2013 as part of the Carson Palmer trade?

by Displaced Bolthead (not verified) :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 1:27am

Thought it was this year's first round pick, next year's second, but I'd be happier if it is 2 first round picks. Haha! Nothing like seeing a dysfunctional organization go down, especially your arch division rival. Can't believe the Raiders gave the Chargers so much trouble the past few years.

by tuluse :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 1:38am

I think it was a 1st round pick if they made the playoffs, 2nd if they didn't or something like that.

by dmstorm22 :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 3:43am

The Raiders have to reach the AFC Title Game for the 2013 pick to get bumped up to a 1st.

by Bright Blue Shorts :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 6:18am

Looks to me like Reggie McKenzie is doing what every coach/GM talks about .. changing the culture.

Routt certainly wasn't a bad CB last year but he wasn't worth that money. It seems to me that he is going to start playing the Moneyball value game.

It would be interesting to see how the remaining players view that decision. They may think "Cool. He was overpaid and didn't do his job" ... or they may think "Oh flippin heck one of our few decent players and you go get rid of him" in which case they start to feel demotivated.

But with the speed with which you can turn a NFL roster over it doesn't matter. I suspect Reggie has sold Mark on this because it "saves" money, and to be fair you're not saving you're being efficient - so he will have the owner's buy-in. For the Raiders money has always been one of their complaints - even though they were always able to spend profligately.

by Raiderjoe :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 6:37am

Tram have other CBs who can step up. Move made to sve money. Will upgrade other positions. Routt good but not gerat like Willie Brown or Mike Haynes.

by Aaron Schatz :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 12:46pm

Right now, I don't have penalties factored into the CB charting stats. By the time the book comes out in July, DPI penalties will be factored in.

A couple of notes.

1) Routt didn't lead the league in penalties. Brandon Browner did at 19. But three of those were declined, and unlike Routt, Browner got some of his penalties on special teams.

2) Defensive penalties, except for DPI, don't correlate with losing the same way offensive penalties do. Defensive penalties often represent close play. Sometimes you get the flag, sometimes you don't. The defensive players with the most penalties are mostly good players: Browner, Routt, Jason Babin, Richard Seymour, Joe Haden, Cliff Avril, Patrick Peterson, Drayton Florence. Those are all the defensive players with at least 11 penalties. (Notice I said MOSTLY.)

by Joshua Northey (not verified) :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 1:46pm

In situations like this involving frequently penalized players I also wonder if the league notified the raiders that elements of Routt's play are going to be flagged even more frequently if he doesn't change his style. Then the Raiders were worried about his ability to produce without bending the rules.

AFAIK the league does give guidance to teams on new specific points of emphasis.

by ChicagoRaider :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 3:59pm

Actually, I think that the seventeen penalties and the 8 touchdowns are related.

The thing that bothered me the most about Routt's play last year, is that he seemed to lose his natural flow in pressure situations. Did the penalties he racked up get into his head? Especially toward the end of the season seemed to me to be indecisive on plays heading into the end zone. And it looked like indecisiveness, not athletic ability, was what was killing him there.

by Eggwasp (not verified) :: Tue, 02/14/2012 - 5:56am

Hey, the Raiders have tried to build defenses for years from the cornerbacks first and it hasn't worked. Overpaying CBs does not work if you have a poor LB squad and a DL who can't play the run consistently either. It was one thing with Nnamdi who completely shut down one half of the field, but Routt is certainly not Nnamdi. Yes Routt was the Raiders best CB but that wasn't saying much given the collection of injured vets, old codgers and lowly-drafted rookies who were manning the other side last season. Teams seemed to pass at will in Q4. And the fact that there is a surfeit of quality FAs available at the position this year is a GOOD reason to cut him now, not a bad one!