Yes you read the headline correctly, the Chicago Bears and the Arizona Cardinals have reportedly shown interest in LSU star and former #1 pick JaMarcus Russell. Now we all know his story and what happened, but if you have forgotten, he was arrested in 2010 for possession of codeine syrup or purple drank, which is slang for this substance.
Now I know what you are thinking, the picture for this article doesn’t show JaMarcus Russell. You are right, because there were no pictures available for JaMarcus Russell from his days with the Oakland Raiders available for me to use, but these two teams are for some reason, interested in this man. I had no idea that he would be back, I never even really entertained the thought of seeing JaMarcus Russell back in the league, let alone the Chicago Bears having interest in him.
He had an awesome college career and rightfully so, was the #1 pick back in the 2007 draft for the Oakland Raiders. When he was playing ball at Louisiana State University, he beat out now Oakland Raiders quarterback Matt Flynn to become the Tigers starting quarterback once again in his junior season after he injured his shoulder the season before. After the injury his sophomore season, Flynn took over for the Peach Bowl and lead the Tigers to a steam roll victory over the University of Miami Hurricanes, defeating them 40-3.
Before getting arrested and missing action in the league for the trouble he got himself into, Russell was thought to be the franchise quarterback Oakland was looking for. Throwing 18 touchdowns along with 23 interceptions and 4,083 passing yards. When he left the league in 2009, he weighed around 260 pounds, which is somewhat big for a quarterback, but I am hearing that he now weighs around 310 pounds. What quarterback is going to even compete for a starting or back up role, weighing around 310 pounds? I mean if the guy learned his lesson and could still do it, more power too him. But being a Chicago Bears fan, I hope this is doesn’t actually happen and they sign him to any sort of deal. They allowed Brian Urlacher walk away, but bring in a 310 pound quarterback? A move like this wouldn’t make much sense.
I can’t really see how any team is interested in him with the shape he is in. Unless he is looking to change positions and contribute in another spot on the field, then maybe, yeah maybe, see what he has to offer then think about giving him a contract. I understand you should never give up on players, no matter what mistakes they have made, but I was for sure JaMarcus Russell was out of the National Football League for good. I am not taking anything away from him, I was a fan of the guy when he played for LSU and I respected him a lot, but I wouldn’t want to see him standing on the Chicago Bears sideline, eating away precious cap space that could have went to another position that needs to be filled. If it is for any other team, great, Arizona Cardinals should pursue him if they believe he could still play.
At that weight he is at right now, I just can’t see him coming back to the league as a quarterback. Maybe he could take a Tim Tebow role and get a few designed plays here and there, or even become a personal blocker for the Punter. Who knows, maybe the New York Jets would like to have Tim Tebow and JaMarcus Russell on the same roster, not saying one is better than the other, but this is the only possible way I see Russell coming back into this league. Since he has been out of the league, the competition with teams for the quarterback position have either been out of reach or way too competitive and have been decided last minute.
I’m just saying, not just a fan of the National Football League but the Chicago Bears, I do not want to see money that could be given to a player with possible value, than a guy who has spent a few years away from the league. I respect that he is looking to come back and it shows me that he hasn’t lost his passion for the game, most guys would have quit, but let him become someone else’s project. If Arizona decides to sign him, good, he could become the back up to whoever backs up former Oakland Raider’s quarterback Carson Palmer. Let him become the come back Tim Tebow for the Arizona Cardinals and see if they get any success out of this decision. Other teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars, Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, Tennessee Titans, Carolina Panthers, St. Louis Rams could make this guy a hands on project considering they aren’t really playoff contenders, no offence to the fans who read this.
But whoever decides to pick him up, needs to put him through an intense work out program to get him to drop weight, he may not reach that 260 mark again, maybe not as fast but it could be somewhat of a start. Just hope he can stay out of trouble, keep his head above water and continue his road back to the National Football League, no matter what team he is with. Even if it is with my Chicago Bears (cringe), everybody deserves a second chance, just hope it works out for the best.