JaMarcus Russell has been released by the Oakland Raiders.
As the first overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, and after holding out for much of that off-season, Russell signed a six-year contract worth $68 million ($31.5 million guaranteed). In addition to the $3 million the Raiders will owe him this year, Russell will have earned a total of $42 million over the three seasons playing for the Raiders. He had seven wins and 18 TD passes in those three seasons.
This off-season, the Raiders brought in QBs Jason Campbell and Kyle Boller. Bruce Gradkowski is the third QB on the Raider’s roster, but is hurt right now.
Jason Campbell should be the starter, followed by Gradkowski and Boller.
After an uncharacteristically prudent draft, the Raiders make another solid move by releasing Russell–and the stats back that up. Here are the career passing numbers for each of these four QBs.
JaMarcus Russell (drafted by the Raiders, 1st round, 1st overall, 2007):
games played: 31
games started: 25
attempts: 680 (52.1%)
Kyle Boller (drafted by the Ravens, 1st round, 19th overall, 2003):
games played: 60
games started: 46
attempts: 1,487 (56.8%)
Bruce Gradkowski (drafted by the Buccaneers, 6th round, 194th overall, 2006):
games played: 26
games started: 16
attempts: 523 (53.3%)
Jason Campbell (drafted by the Redskins, 1st round, 25th overall, 2006):
games played: 52
games started: 52
attempts: 507 (64.4%)
Where will he go next? Of course he hasn’t had a good career so far, but he could certainly help some team in some way. Here are a few likely teams he could sign with. Criteria is based on four points: a stable franchise, a good offensive line (featuring a successful running game/solid pass protection), no clear starter at QB and a motivated/young head coach.
1. Arizona Cardinals
- Matt Leinart doesn’t seem to be the answer. Russell’s huge arm combined with his college teammate/favorite target at LSU Early Doucet and Larry Fitzgerald could make for an explosive Cardinals offense.
2. Seattle Seahawks
- All indications are that the Seahawks really like Charlie Whitehurst. But let’s be real–he isn’t their QB of the future. He and Russell both have yet to prove they can consistently lead a team to victory. Seattle just traded for two good running backs (LenDale White & Leon Washington), they drafted a potential franchise left tackle (Russell Okung) and a very good receiver who will get better (Golden Tate).
3. San Fransisco 49ers
- Yes, Alex Smith is the starter, but he hasn’t performed as well as the 49ers hoped. Would they take a risk on another 1st overall draft pick? Maybe. But now that they have Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis, adding Russell’s arm to the fold may be worth the risk.
Wherever Russell goes, he will most likely be a back-up at first, and will accept a major salary re-negotiation.
Russell’s time in the NFL isn’t up, but it’s running out.
Thanks for reading.