In probably the saddest story you’ll read about today, former #1 pick JaMarcus Russell is scrapping the bottom of every barrel he has in front of him to get himself back into the league. The ex-Oakland Raiders QB recently told Sports Illustrated that he would “play for free” for any team that gave him a shot.
For those who don’t remember, Russell was a standout QB at LSU back in 2006/2007 and was taken #1 by the Oakland Raiders after guys like Mel Kiper Jr. called him “Elway like” coming into the draft. Obviously, things didn’t pan out so well for Russell as he was cut just 3 years into the league after a 2009 campaign that some him rank dead last in every major passing category. After not receiving any offers after his release and subsequently being away from football ever since, he’s been relegated to a punchline and a cautionary tale for teams who fall in love with physical skills over mental tangibles when evaluating quarterbacks. Due to the massive hype he had prior to the NFL draft, Russell is widely regarded as one of the biggest NFL busts of all time.
This isn’t the first time Russell’s made news for attempting a comeback. Back in 2013, he worked out for the Chicago Bears having lost 50 lbs, however the Bears opted to leave him off the training camp roster. Recently, he’s written letters to teams all around the league offering to lead their scout teams.
From his letter to the Dallas Cowboys:
You gotta respect the man for trying. It isn’t easy losing 50 lbs and trying to get yourself into playing shape, all the while your ears are buzzing with news bits throwing your failures back in your face.
Good luck, JaMarcus.