JaMarcus Russell until recently was a quarterback for the Oakland Raiders and may literally be one of the biggest NFL draft busts of all time.
Just The Facts
- Before being released, rumors were that Russell arrived at training camp weighing 300 pounds, far above the 255 he weighed in his prime. 3 years ago.
- When Jamarcus Russell sits around the mansion he bought with his $31 million guaranteed from the Raiders, he literally sits around the mansion he bought with his $31 million.
- When JaMarcus Russell steps back from the snap, he goes "beep beep beep".
- JaMarcus Russell is so fat that his offensive linemen don't exactly form a pocket around him so much as gravitationally fall into orbit.
JaMarcus Russell's career
JaMarcus Russell was drafted in 2007 by the Raiders and got mostly glowing reviews from most sports experts at the time, although some warned that he had a high likelihood of becoming fat and lazy (key football terms).
"Even before the Vegas trips and crazy bling and purple drank rumors, there was the ESPN video of him just before draft day talking about how much he was going to relax and eat once he got drafted. (How that didn't freeze NFL scouts in their tracks I have no idea.)"
Nevertheless, Al Davis drafted him. Al Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders, is insane, and by some reports died ten years ago in a tragic accident. However, he appears to have been resurrected by some unnatural force and has returned to do its bidding.
Most Raiders fans don't take such silly stories seriously and opt for a more reasonable hypothesis - that he is Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars. There is some evidence for this as well.
For whatever reason, he drafted JaMarcus Russell.
Almost immediately, there was trouble when Russell refused to report to training camp unless he was given way too much money. Although the organization balked for a while at giving an unprecedented amount of money to someone who hadn't played a day of professional football, they finally decided it was pretty reasonable.
By this time, he had missed all of training camp and several weeks of the regular season, and didn't get caught up enough to play until the last two games. He didn't do so great in those games, but it all got lost in how bad the team was doing in general.
The next season, 2008, he got his coach, Lane Kiffin, fired, mostly by being terrible. When Kiffin told Al Davis that Russell was terrible, Al Davis essentially told him, "You're terrible," and eventually fired him. The demon possessing Al Davis was convinced that JaMarcus Russell was a hidden jewel and just needed a good coach in order to bloom.
At a news conference, Davis read a letter he had written to the fired coach. "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."
Russell spotted during the offseason
The offseason was a delicious one, and Russell showed up to 2009 training camp so overweight he was fined. He continued his show of excellence by falling asleep at team meetings or just skipping them to go to Vegas, while performing at a record-breaking level of terrible on the field.
After a particular stinker of a game against the Broncos where he failed to complete half his passes, two of them going to the opposite team, he displayed his fire and determination to learn from his mistakes by blaming the refs for calling those interceptions and saying, "I think I did all right. ... I try to play with no regrets."
It takes a lot of confidence, or denial, or whatever, to say that after the home crowd has been chanting "JaMarcus sucks," the entire game.
In November 2009, coach Tom Cable finally yanked him out of the game. The fans cheered wildly as Bruce Gradkowski came out to replace him even though they didn't know who Bruce Gradkowski was. Over the next few games, Bruce did all right, and after he got hurt, the other backup quarterback did all right as well, neither of them harmed by having JaMarcus Russell as a comparison.
Over the 2010 offseason, the Raiders accumulated several more quarterbacks, to the point where about 5 people would have to get hurt in order for Russell to play again. Feeling that this still wasn't enough of a safety margin, they finally released him May 6, 2010.
He is currently waiting for another team to pick him up and let his hidden talent shine. We'll update you when this happens.