As a football fan, a part of you has to feel for former Oakland Raiders and 2007 first pick, JaMarcus Russell. Going from being the first pick of the 2007 draft to being released, is no way end an NFL career. However, that’s exactly what happened on May 7th 2010, as the Oakland Raiders finally realized that their former first pick of the first round simply wasn’t going to work out. Perhaps the first sign that Russell was destined to be released by the Raiders was when they traded for 5 year Redskin veteran Jason Campbell on April 24th 2010. However, does this mean Russell has played his last down in the NFL?
Who Is a Bigger Bust, Ryan Leaf or JaMarcus Russell?
Let the debate begin as to who will be forever known as the biggest NFL bust, Ryan Leaf or JaMarcus Russell. Of course, Russell still has time to turn it around, but as of today, it is becoming less and less likely Russell will catch on with another NFL team in 2010. However, if he does, he’ll have to earn a roster spot. This is a far cry from when the LSU Tiger alumni arrived with high expectations and the weight of the Raiders franchise on his shoulders. His first year was chalked up to a learning experience, something all rookie NFL quarterbacks go through.
Russell couldn’t find any consistency in Oakland
Russell’s first NFL season say him play 4 games and field reasonable numbers for a first year NFL quarterback. He finished the season with 2 touchdowns, 4 interceptions and a 55.9% quarterback rating. His second year saw considerable improvements as Russell passed for 2,423 yards with 13 touchdowns, 8 interceptions and a 77.1% quarterback rating. However, everything went downhill for Russell afterward, as his 2009 season saw him suffer with consistency, completion percentage and quarterback sacks – which can sometimes be the fault of a poor offensive line, but can also be because of a quarterback’s inability to make quick reads. In Russell’s case, it certainly seems to stems from his poor decision making and tendency to hold onto the football too long. His 2009 season totals plummeted as he had a 48.8% completion percentage, with 1,287 yards passing, 3 touchdowns to 11 interceptions, and a miserable quarterback rating of 50%. By seasons end, Russell lost his starters job to NFL journeyman, Charley Frye, a former 3rd round pick of the Cleveland Browns.
So, what does all of this mean for the 3 year NFL veteran? Well, for one, if he does catch on with another team, he’ll face a day to day battle to justify his roster position. Russell certainly can’t expect to be anything other than a 3rd string quarterback, and even that might be a stretch. Most expect Russell to become a practice roster quarterback on an NFL team until he proves he can address his tendencies to overthrow receivers. If the NFL doesn’t work out, there is always the UFL and CFL. However, if Russell can commit himself to becoming a new quarterback he’ll likely find a roster spot on an NFL team in 2010.