Could the Cincinnati Bengals Be One of the Teams Interested in JaMarcus Russell?

Matt GrayContributor IMay 29, 2013

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 03:  JaMarcus Russell #2 of the Oakland Raiders looks on against the Baltimore Ravens during an NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on January 3, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

According to's Ian Rapoport, JaMarcus Russell is drawing "significant" interest from more than one team.

Russell, the first-overall pick in the 2007 draft, hasn't thrown an NFL pass since January 2010.

This offseason, he's undertaken a well-documented comeback attempt. Dramatically overweight at the start, Russell is now reported to be down to 265lbs.

The Cincinnati Bengals currently have four QB's on the roster with no clear backup candidate for Andy Dalton.

Jon Skelton and Josh Johnson are the favourites but both have flaws.

Skelton has thrown more interceptions than he has TD's in his short career, while Josh Johnson was almost unemployed throughout 2012 before being picked up by the Browns in December.

Zac Robinson is the other name on the list, but he will likely continue to be a practice squad mainstay.

So, could JaMarcus Russell be a fit in Cincinnati? Almost certainly not.

But it's not out of the question. Despite Marvin Lewis' assertion that he wouldn't bring drama back to Cincinnati following the departures of Chad Johnson and Carson Palmer, he has certainly rolled the dice a few times.

Vontaze Burfict, Adam Jones, Brandon Joiner and Andre Smith.

These are all players with red flags off the field. It's too early to comment on Joiner, but the other three are thriving in Cincinnati.

So, why couldn't JaMarcus?

He's stated that the ideal situation would see him sit behind a veteran QB.

Russell has been able to stay focused on training throughout the Summer, but how would he look in December after four months of sitting on the bench?

These are the questions you would expect Marvin Lewis & Co. to mull.

Pro Football Talk give a pretty damning verdict:

...the way Russell used to throw the football was on display in 2009, Russell’s last season, when he completed 48.8 percent of his passes while throwing three touchdown passes and 11 interceptions. With that track record, it’s hard to see why any team would have any interest.

Let's not get in over our heads. A backup QB is exactly that, a backup. With luck, Russell wouldn't see much more than preseason action as a Bengal.

Cincy can have all the confidence in the world in Andy Dalton and still sign JaMarcus.

In the event that Dalton goes down injured, it wouldn't hurt to consider having a backup that could potentially throw a pretty ball or two to A.J. Green.