NFL: Top Five Suitors for JaMarcus Russell
NFL: Five Teams That Could Be Interested in JaMarcus Russell
31 games played, including a 7-18 record as a starter. 18 touchdowns passes and 23 interceptions, with a career completion percentage of 52.1 percent and career passer rating of 65.2. This is not exactly a stellar NFL resume, and certainly not one befitting a former No. 1 overall pick. But that is how the stat sheet reads for JaMarcus Russell, who spent three seasons with the Oakland Raiders after be taken first overall in 2007.
Russell’s career quickly fell apart after he reported to Raiders’ minicamp in 2010 weighing 300 pounds, and the team released him in May of that year. Soon after, he was arrested for possession of codeine syrup without a valid prescription, and since trying out for a couple teams in November of 2010 Russell has been away from the league completely.
Russell’s status as one of the biggest busts in NFL Draft history will never go away, but recent reports suggest he is down to 265 pounds and has gotten interest from a few teams. He is being guided by former NFL stars Jeff Garcia and Marshall Faulk during his comeback attempt, which may bode well in terms of rebuilding his reputation around the league.
Russell’s physical tools were what grabbed the attention of the NFL scouts, but being out of the league for three full seasons means those traits are sure to have deteriorated some. He will also turn 28 prior to the start of the 2013 season, so even if he gets another chance he may not have a lot of productive seasons left.
Russell has said he is willing to play in the CFL, but here are five NFL teams I think could consider giving him a shot.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars clearly have a lackluster quarterback situation, with Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne currently occupying the top two spots on the depth chart, and adding Russell to the mix may appeal to them if he has any of his physical tools left.
4. Green Bay Packers
The Packers obviously have one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers, but they could look to upgrade their depth behind him. If nothing else, being in the stable situation Green Bay offers would be good for Russell’s potential career revival.
3. Chicago Bears
New Bears head coach Marc Trestman is well-regarded for his work with quarterbacks, and quarterback coach Matt Cavanaugh has also worked with some talented signal callers. Jay Cutler is firmly entrenched as Chicago’s starter, so being able to learn without being thrown into the fire would benefit Russell as he works his way back.
2. St. Louis Rams
Rams head coach Jeff Fisher has been willing to take on high-risk players throughout his career, and the team’s depth behind Sam Bradford is not impressive (Kellen Clemens, Austin Davis). Russell's easiest path to a roster spot for 2013 may be in St. Louis, assuming he gets a chance there.
1. San Diego Chargers
Chargers’ head coach Mike McCoy worked with both Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning during his time as offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos, so if anyone can get something out of Russell it may be him. Add in the fact the team does not have a proven backup behind Philip Rivers, and Russell could find himself back in the AFC West.