Most Raiders fans remember Jerry Porter as a young and talented wide receiver who was the heir apparant to the dynamic duo of Jerry Rice and Tim Brown. Fast forward to 2011 and it appears as though Porter will never fulfill his potential to be a standout wide receiver in the NFL.
After showing so much potential while playing for a struggling Raiders team, Porter opted to test the free agent market in 2008. Rather than re-sign with the team that had drafted him 8 years earlier, Porter opted to sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Based primarily on his potential, the Jaguars signed Porter to a six year, $30 million contract with $10 million in guaranteed money.
However, less than a year after being signed by the Jaguars, Porter was released after finishing the season with 11 catches for 181 yards and only one touchdown in ten games.
Thus began the fall of Jerry Porter.
Porter was unable to latch onto an NFL team for the 2009 season and despite receiving at least one try out from the Washington Redskins, he was unable to land himself in an NFL training camp for the 2010 season. As most know, getting into a training camp is not exactly the most difficult thing to do. Teams always have far more players in training camp than will make the final team. Thus, one will often find players without NFL talent in NFL training camps simply because teams need bodies. The fact that Porter could not even get himself into a training camp certainly did not bode well for his career.
After two seasons out of the NFL and out of football in general, Porter signed with the Montreal Alouettes in February of 2011. At first glance, this appeared to be the right step for Porter to take if he wanted to ressurect his dying career. The head coach of the Alouettes is none other than Mark Trestman, another name that should be familiar to the Raider Nation.
Mark Trestman was the offensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders in 2002-2003, after having been the quarterbacks coach for the Raiders before that. Therefore, Porter and Trestman had worked together before and, in fact, Trestman was the offensive coordinator in 2002 when Porter had his breakout season, catching 51 balls for 668 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Unfortunately for Porter, his comeback was cut short earlier this week when he ruptured his achilles tendon during training camp for the Alouettes. An injury to the legs or feet of a wide receiver tends to be critical. Besides their hands, a wide receivers legs and feet are the key to their talent. Without a strong and healthy lower body, a receiver will not be able to run clean and crisp routes. No matter how good one's hands are, and Jerry Porter has great hands, they are useless if you cannot get separation from the corner covering you.
With the Alouettes unlikely to keep an injured player on their team who has not played football in two years, it appears as though Porter may be forced to hang up the cleats. It is hard enough to return to a sport like football after not having played for two years, but sitting out of the game for three is almost a death sentence for a player like Porter who will turn 33 in July.