JaMarcus Russell…Another Chance…….By Stephen Siracusa
Second chances aren’t always easy to come by but that is exactly what jaMarcus Russell is looking for. In 2007 the Oakland Raiders selected jaMarcus Russell with their first overall pick in the NFL draft. Fresh out of LSU, he finished his college career 21–4 as a starter and was named MVP of the 2007 Sugar Bowl.
Although the Oakland Raiders had a lot of other needs besides picking up a QB they selected Russell to be the franchise QB and a leader hoping to get the same production from him as he had at LSU. Russell was a tough negotiator holding out until the Raiders signed him to a contract worth $61 million with a $32 million guaranteed. Russell played three seasons with the Raiders, exhibiting a not so impressive record of 7–18 as a starter. Due to his inconsistent play, the Raiders released him on May 6, 2010. It was obvious that somewhere along the line the player of yesteryear was lost.
Russell reportedly had sent letters to numerous NFL teams last season asking for another chance. He outlined how he is willing to lead their scout team for free for one year just to get experience in there system. Russell is holding out hope that some team will be willing to pick him up, he sent a letter to the Dallas Cowboys knowing that Jerry Jones has been known to give out a 2nd chance here and there.
Russell has tried to mount a comeback before. In 2013, he worked out with the Chicago Bears. Russell had lost nearly 50 pounds and his conditioning was better than it had been at the end of his Raiders tenure, but his throwing proved to be inconsistent. The Bears passed on taking him to training camp, and he failed to be brought on to any other team. Russell has a big bust tag linked to his name and wants to play and erase that impression. Now at age 30 he could be a solid back up QB if he continues working hard and demonstrates his commitment and dedication to the game. His hope is that he might catch a teams eye and get invited to a team’s training camp.