JaMarcus Russell: Teams That Should Give Former No. 1 Overall Pick a Chance
Over the past couple of months, Bleacher Report has documented the former No. 1 overall pick's attempt to return to the field. The latest installment showcases Russell's weight loss after dropping about 30 pounds since training began:
While there is still more work to do, this dedication toward self-improvement should not be overlooked. The quarterback proved that he will continue to train until he is up to the standard of any future coach.
In addition, he still has the same natural throwing ability that made him so highly regarded coming out of LSU.
Considering the dearth of quality quarterbacks in the league today, these teams would be smart to bring in Russell for a tryout before the start of the 2013 season.
Former NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia, who has been helping Russell with his comeback, named the Chicago Bears and Arizona Cardinals as two possible destinations for the former Oakland Raider (via Jim Corbett of USA Today):
Those are two ideal teams: You've got Carson Palmer with Arizona and Jay Cutler with Chicago, two quarterbacks who aren't real mobile guys who are more back-in-the-pocket guys, that fits JaMarcus' playing style. That would be great for him. Hopefully, it's all real.
The problem is that the Cardinals feel very comfortable with Drew Stanton as a backup, even going as far as saying that he is capable of being a starter, according to Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk.
On the other hand, the Bears lost Jason Campbell to free agency and only have Josh McCown behind Jay Cutler on the depth chart. Considering Cutler has only played all 16 games in one of his four seasons in Chicago, adding depth is important.
Russell could provide a solid veteran presence who can step in if needed after being brought along slowly during the year.
New York Jets
If there is a chance for Russell to be a starter anywhere in the league, it is likely with the New York Jets.
Mark Sanchez was the worst quarterback in the NFL last season, according to Total QBR, and he is projected to be the starter heading into next year. The only improvement that the organization made in the offseason was the free-agent signing of David Garrard.
While Russell has not played in the league since 2009, Garrard has not taken a snap since 2010. Adding Russell would not increase the risk, but rather give the team a better chance that one of the players pans out.
New York is in desperate need of a legitimate starting quarterback and has really nothing to lose. This move will at least give the squad a chance at finding someone for the near future.
New England Patriots
Throughout the years, New England has not been afraid to bring in someone with a troubled history. While players like Albert Haynesworth struggled and were quickly dismissed, others like Randy Moss found success in the new environment.
Adding a low-risk player like Russell could lead to great things if he shows the ability that made him the No. 1 pick in the 2007 draft.
In addition, he could be a solid reserve for Tom Brady if he were to get hurt. Ryan Mallett has shown promise, but he is largely unproven in his young career.
From the quarterback's perspective, he could learn from Tom Brady to be able to harness his natural talent to become more well-rounded. This could help advance his comeback and truly make Russell the best player he could be.
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