ALAMEDA Less than one year ago, Al Davis made Stanford Routt one of the cornerstones of the Oakland Raiders defense with a lavish contract that kept him from free agency.
Routt became the first player casualty under the Raiders' new regime. Routt was released Thursday just one year into a $54.5 million, five-year contract, ending his seven-year tenure in Oakland as the team heads in a new direction.
The move by new general manager Reggie McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen signifies a change of approach from when Davis ran the team and was fiercely loyal to players he drafted.
Davis died Oct. 8, setting the stage for a busy offseason. McKenzie was hired in January and fired coach Hue Jackson after one season on his first official day on the job. He then began a coaching search that ended up with Allen, and now changes are being made to the roster even before free agency begins next month.
After the news conference announcing Allen's hiring on Jan. 30, McKenzie said the Raiders had some contracts that were "out of whack." Apparently, Routt's was one of them.
Routt got the big contract after grading out as one of the league's top cover cornerbacks in 2010. The opposition's 39.4 percent completion rate when throwing at him was the lowest of any player targeted at least 60 times that season, according to STATS LLC.
Davis gave Routt the big contract, while letting Pro Bowler Nnamdi Asomugha test free agency. Asomugha later signed with Philadelphia, making Routt the No. 1 cornerback in Oakland.
While he once again held opponents to a low completion percentage (47.4 percent) and allowed less than 6 yards per pass attempt for the season, according to STATS, he was susceptible to penalties and touchdowns. He was credited with allowing eight touchdown passes tied for the second-most in the NFL and led the league with 17 penalties committed, according to STATS.
More changes are sure to come for the Raiders, who have not had a winning record or made the playoffs since 2002. Oakland is coming off one of its worst defensive performances ever during last season's 8-8 campaign.
The Raiders also hired two more assistant coaches, making Johnny Holland the linebackers coach and Keith Burns the assistant special teams coach. Holland spent the past five seasons in Houston. Burns has spent 28 years as a college coach.
49ers Wide receiver Joshua Morgan is running, and even sprinting, again on the surgically repaired right leg that limited him to only five games in 2011 for the NFC West champions.
"I'm back!" Morgan said, sporting his typical smile as he left team headquarters. "I'm running again and have been for about two weeks yes, sprinting."
Morgan broke a bone in his lower leg Oct. 9 against Tampa Bay, had surgery to have screws inserted and was placed on season-ending injured reserve. While Morgan is set to become a free agent, coach Jim Harbaugh has said the team plans to bring him back for next season.
Colts Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning and Colorado Rockies outfielder Todd Helton have been working out at Duke in Durham, N.C., this week, an athletic department spokesman said.
The spokesman said both were there primarily to visit David Cutcliffe, who was Tennessee's offensive coordinator when both were college quarterbacks.
The cover was blown earlier Thursday when Matt Skura, a Duke football player, wrote on Twitter that he was "stretching" next to Manning. The post was later taken down.
Titans Tennessee has agreed to terms on a multiyear deal with offensive tackle Mike Otto.