5 Reasons Some Team Should Sign Russell

Just three seasons after being selected as the top-overall pick in the draft, former Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell has been released. Russell has supplanted former San Diego Chargers non-great Ryan Leaf as the biggest bust in the history of the draft. So why should the Jaguars or some other team sign Russell? Find out.

1. No Risk Whatsoever

JaMarcus Russell made roughly $40 million in his three seasons in Oakland. Does that mean he'll settle for less money with his next team? He'll have no choice. Any team that signs Russell will get him on the cheap, probably in the neighborhood of a two-year, $2.5 million deal. At those numbers, there is simply no risk in bringing in a guy like Russell as a backup quarterback. If he comes into camp out of shape and continues to show his poor work ethic, you simply cut him and move on. Nothing lost.

2. Humility

JaMarcus Russell has always been "the man" as far as his football acumen throughout his entire life. He was the nation's third-ranked quarterback when he went to LSU and showed enough ability to become the top pick in the draft. The NFL was likely the first time Russell has ever failed in anything football related in his entire life. Perhaps his release and the talk of him being a legendary bust will give Russell a little humility and he'll dedicate himself enough to salvage his career.

3. Raw Ability

There's a reason why JaMarcus Russell was the top-overall selection in the 2007 draft. He has a cannon for an arm and can make all the NFL throws. Russell would be the most talented quarterback on nearly every NFL roster. Why not take a flier on that type of ability?

4. Coaching

It's difficult to evaluate any former or current Oakland Raiders due to the aura of dysfunction that exists in the Bay Area. Russell has been coached by Lane Kiffin and Tom Cable, two coaches that won't soon be confused with the likes of Bill Belichick, Chuck Noll or Vince Lombardi. Neither coach was qualified for their positions, and Kiffin publicly objected to the selection of Russell. Perhaps Russell can realize some of his potential with better coaching?

5. Weapons

JaMarcus Russell hasn't played with anything close to a star wide receiver during his tenure in Oakland. The top threats on the outside since Russell arrived were Ronald Curry (no longer on the team), Johnnie Lee Higgins (return man) and Louis Murphy (fourth-round rookie). A big part of the receivers lack of success was the poor play of Russell, but lets not pretend he had Randy Moss or Wes Welker beating up on man coverage.

In summation, we're not saying that JaMarcus Russell can be the savior of a franchise because that's not likely to occur, but when you take into account the low risk of a minimal contract, along with the natural ability that the guy has, he is certainly worth the trouble.

Bodog.com has these odds on where Russell will wind up:

Arizona Cardinals 3/1
Buffalo Bills 7/2
Jacksonville Jaguars 4/1
Miami Dolphins 6/1
Cincinnati Bengals 7/1
San Francisco 49ers 15/2
Tennessee Titans 8/1
Any CFL Team 10/1


Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of JagNation.com, a member of the Pro Football Writers of America, and also the co-host of CB Sports Radio on ESPN 1420 in St. Augustine, FL. You can contact him at charlie@jagnation.com or follow him on twitter @nflcharlie


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