Should Colts take a flier on JaMarcus Russell?

In his recent “2 Minute Blitz” video, Indianapolis Star columnist Bob Kravitz suggests that the Colts should take a chance on JaMarcus Russell. Kravitz lists the lack of options that the team has behind Peyton Manning and the possibility of Russell “seeing the light” while learning in a great organization as some of the reasons why the former No. 1 overall pick would be a fit in Indy.

On the surface, the idea isn’t as far-fetched as some may think. Curtis Painter did nothing in his limited time last year to suggest that he could be a capable backup for Manning, nonetheless someone that the Colts could actually count on to win a came if Peyton were ever to get injured. (Throw on game film of Painter’s effort against the Jets last year if you disagree.) Plus, Manning and Russell are polar opposites, so maybe JaMarcabust could learn something from the hardest working quarterback in the game.

That said, I’m one who believes that Russell will never get it. I think he wanted to parlay his junior season at LSU into a big payday in the NFL and that’s exactly what he did. With the backing of Al Davis, I think he knew he could do whatever he wanted and the checks were still going to come in the mail. I don’t think he wants it, nor do I think he ever will want it.

If the Colts did sign him, I wouldn’t pooh-pooh their decision because Russell could stand to learn a lot from Manning. He needs to be in that kind of structured environment if he ever has a shot to make it in the NFL. In fact, Indianapolis might just be the best spot for him.

But at the end of the day, a person can be in the right situation and still not change for the better. It would be up to Russell to make fundamental changes to improve his work ethic and I just don’t think he has the will, desire or dedication to do that.

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Raiders still undecided about Russell?

Apparently Al Davis isn’t very good with goodbyes.

Nancy Gay of reports that the Raiders are still undecided about whether or not to allow JaMarcus Russell to participate in their three-day minicamp, which beings this Friday.

Why wouldn’t Davis concede he made a terrible mistake by drafting Russell and paying him so much for so little?

Consider Davis’ now-infamous “You’re Fired” letter to former coach Lane Kiffin, made public via overhead projector in September 2008. It spelled out the owner’s belief in Russell’s potential quite succinctly.

Here is paragraph six of the letter, dated Sept. 12, 2008, entitled, “Dear Lane”:

“I do realize that you did not want us to draft JaMarcus Russell. He is a great player. Get over it and coach this team on the field, that is what you were hired to do. We can win with this team!”

Everyone likes to point out how Davis doesn’t care about what everyone things about him. If that’s the case, then he shouldn’t care if people point out that Kiffin was right about Russell. Plus, for the first time in a long while, Davis put together a nice draft for the Raiders and should continue to move forward instead of backwards. Russell represents a horrible past mistake and therefore, shouldn’t be viewed as part of the team’s present or future.

Just move on, Al. It’ll be like pulling off a band aid.

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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 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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Report: Raiders prepared to release Russell

It appears that the end is near for JaMarcus Russell in Oakland, as the Raiders are preparing to release the NFL’s all-time biggest bust.


John Clayton just said on ESPN’s “NFL Live” that the Raiders are preparing the process of cutting quarterback JaMarcus Russell.

Clayton said it is not a matter of if, but when Russell will be cut. He also said the team could release Russell before Oakland’s minicamp, which runs Friday through Sunday, and that there is no trade market for him. The Raiders will save more than $6 million if they cut Russell this year.

I wrote about this topic in more detail yesterday, which you can read here. But the long and the short of it is that Jason Campbell is the starter and the best move for the Raiders is to cut their losses and move on with Russell. He would be nothing shy of a distraction, including for owner Al Davis.

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For the Raiders and Davis’ sake, Russell must be released

There is no quarterback controversy in Oakland. There is no, “let’s see how things go” or “let the best man win” philosophies being taken by the Raiders.

Make no mistake about it: Jason Campbell is the Raiders’ starting quarterback. But just because he’s the new front man in Oakland doesn’t mean that Al Davis’ love affection for JaMarcus Russell’s raw skills aren’t still there. Even though reports have surfaced that Russell is tipping the scales at 300 pounds, as long as he and his big arm remain on the roster then Davis will always be intrigued.

That’s why Davis should release Russell immediately. Why should he tempt himself by keeping the No. 1 overall bust on the roster? As soon as Campbell loses a couple games, Davis could get the JaMarcus Russell itch and demand that head coach Tom Cable put him back in their lineup.

That said, Cable is the X factor in this situation. He proved last year that he was willing to bury Russell under Bruce Gradkowski, Charlie Frye and an old Nintendo controller on the Raiders’ depth chart. Therefore, chances are if Campbell doesn’t pan out it will be Gradkowski that gets the nod over JaMarcubust.

But that’s just one more reason to flat out release him and move on. Davis put together a nice draft for the Raiders and managed to acquire a starting quarterback with experience for practically nothing. He should continue moving his team forward by releasing one massive mistake and putting it behind him.

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