JaMarcus Russell was the number one overall selection by the Oakland Raiders just four short years ago in the 2007 NFL Draft; now just weeks after the 2010 version of the draft the Raiders have decided to release the struggling quarterback who could eventually go down as the biggest bust in NFL Draft history.
When Al Davis and the rest of the Raiders front office decided to select Russell it seemed like a no-brainer pick, after all he had just come off playing stellar at LSU leading them to the SEC title game, seemed to be the best quarterback in the draft and had a cannon for an arm. However what Oakland didn’t know (and soon found out not long after drafting him) was that he was very undisciplined at the position, couldn’t watch his weight and had one of the worst work ethics that had ever been seen from an NFL quarterback, lead alone a number one overall selection.
When the Raiders signed Russell they inked him to an incredible six-year million deal worth $68 million (after holding out until September) which many thought was justified, but now three years and $39 million later it appears to be a complete injustice. The mathematics behind his contract and his production on the field are astoundingly terrible in many ways.
JaMarcus Russell won just seven games as starting quarterback which equals to roughly $5.57 million per victory. Russell threw just 18 career touchdowns which equals to about $2.16 million per TD pass. He completed just 354 passes which cost the Raiders about $110,169 per completion and threw for just 4,083 total yards which Oakland paid $9,551 per passing yard gained. With prices such as those how can anyone argue with the fact that JaMarcus Russell stole money from Al Davis and the Oakland Raiders.
Besides those statistics Russell also threw for 23 interceptions, lost 15 fumbles, completed just 52.1% percent of his passes and complied a QB Rating of 65.2 in his 31 total NFL appearances. He has never thrown for over 300 yards or passed for more than two touchdown passes in his three-year career in fact he only has eight games where he passed for more than 200 yards and six games where he passed for at least one TD pass and zero interceptions.
JaMarcus Russell is in the midst of if not at the top of the list when it comes to the worst NFL Draft picks of all-time. His name (and statistics) fits in exquisitely with that of Akili Smith, Steve Emtman, Brian Boswell, Ki-Jana Carter and of course the ultimate Ryan Leaf. Those guys have company now that Russell has done what he has done on the field (next to nothing) and now that he has been released (like the rest of the bunch) from the team that drafted him.
Besides the fact of playing so terrible, Russell has never appeared to care about advancing his career to the next level. Following countless poor performances Russell never seemed to care in games or even practice via his body language and decision making which made many people completely jump off of his band wagon and discontinued the support that he once had. Russell has no one to blame for himself for the demise of what could have been an exceptional career, he had all of the talent in the world along with numerous opportunities but he didn’t cherish them and now they appear to be gone for the foreseeable future.
Russell still has chance to redeem himself and what should have been a good career but once again the ball is in his court and the honest is on him. If he can get an opportunity as a backup in a good system with the right coach that will be patient with him then the ball is in his court and the honest will be on him. At the age of 24 years old JaMarcus Russell should get a shot a making something out of his NFL lifetime but it would have to be plenty to save him from the worst NFL Draft pick of all-time conversation.