When released, what are Russell’s options?

It’s a foregone conclusion that JaMarcus Russell will be released by the Raiders at some point this offseason. And when he does, where pray tell will he wind up?

Now that he has reportedly ballooned to 300 pounds, some are wondering whether or not Russell can put on 20 more lbs. and play offensive line. That might not be a bad idea, although the position would still require a fair amount of football intelligence, which is something he has lacked since entering the league.

All kidding aside, which team would be willing to take on a massive project like Russell? What offensive scheme does a quarterback with a strong arm, no accuracy and zero football IQ fit into? What coach would be willing to take on a player that hasn’t shown the desire to work on his craft or keep his body anywhere close to playing shape in the offseason?

There are a lot of coaches in the NFL that believe they can mold any player, which is why Russell will likely re-surface somewhere when he’s released in Oakland. Peter King of SI.com suggests that the Eagles might give him a shot, although I don’t know how Russell can fit into his pants, nevertheless the West Coast Offense. (His accuracy is one of his worst traits and the WCO relies on a QB that is accurate.)

This is just speculation on my part, but what about the 49ers? Mike Singletary and acting GM Trent Baalke have done nothing but shower Alex Smith with confidence this offseason by passing on the opportunity to trade for Donovan McNabb and draft a quarterback like Jimmy Clausen. But Smith is a free agent after the season and 2010 will be a make or break year for the 25-year-old anyway. I’m not suggesting that Russell has the ability to overtake Smith because he doesn’t, but if there were one coach that I could foresee giving Russell the giant kick in the ass he needs, it would be Singletary. (I know most 49er fans want to burn me alive right now for even suggesting this, but this more about my faith in Singletary than Russell’s abilities.)

But again, I’m just speculating. There’s a very good chance that Singletary and the Niners want absolutely nothing to do with Russell, much like every other team in the league. It’s kind of funny that whenever a troubled player is about to hit the open market, the first team that is always mentioned is the Raiders. But now that Oakland doesn’t even want him, Russell won’t have a ton of options.


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