NFL

What Does JaMarcus Russell's Second Chance Mean for Vince Young?

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 03:  JaMarcus Russell #2 of the Oakland Raiders in action  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
Chris TrapassoAnalyst IJune 6, 2013

JaMarcus Russell and Vince Young are two of the most physically gifted quarterback draft busts of this millennium, and both are attempting to get a second-chance crack at the NFL in 2013. 

Russell, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft, who hasn't played since 2009, recently landed a workout with the Chicago Bears according to ESPN Chicago.

That initial report was watered down by this tweet from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport:

From Total Access: Source says JaMarcus Russell's #Bears workout is "information gathering in case. It's unlikely anything is imminent"

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 4, 2013

Later, in a Chicago Tribune article, Dan Pompei wrote the following: 

From all indications, the Bears are very pleased with backups Josh McCown and Matt Blanchard, and are not looking to add a fourth.  Rather, they are likely evaluating players who are available in the event that an emergency backup will be needed at some point down the road.

However, just a few months from being more than 300 pounds with bad mechanics, a tryout with the Bears was undeniably an encouraging development for Russell who's fallen so far but has worked tirelessly to get back into football shape. 

The determination he exhibited in his arduous training ultimately paid off, and it could lead to NFL employment this year. 

The same goes for Vince Young. While he hasn't gotten as much notoriety as Russell in 2013, the former University of Texas superstar has been working out this offseason and even participated in his alma mater's pro day in March, per NFL.com.

Gil Brandt said Young "put on a show," and that "show" led to a workout with the Oakland Raiders in mid-April, per Rapoport.

Young wasn't signed, then Rapoport tweeted this after the draft:

For #Raiders fans: Vince Young no longer has interest from OAK after drafting Tyler Wilson. I'm told he's not interested in CFL. What now?

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 1, 2013

Russell's resurgence and well-covered body transformation doesn't exactly bode well for Young. While there are many parallels between their comebacks, Russell should have the leg up in terms of chances to sign with a team this year.

The major problem Young will face is that he recently flamed out as a professional. After an dysfunctional stay in Tennessee with the Titans, he had a vastly underwhelming stint in Philadelphia with the Eagles and didn't even make the 2012 Buffalo Bills with Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tyler Thigpen the other quarterbacks on the roster. 

Russell's time away from the NFL and current training process could create the perception that he's a totally blank slate or a large mound of extremely moldable quarterback clay. 

People haven't forgotten his atrocious three-year tenure with the Raiders, but it's probably not as fresh in the minds of general managers and head coaches as Young's failings.

Both are long shots to latch on with a team in 2013, but as odd as it may seem, Russell has a better shot to return to the NFL than Young. 

Maybe, though, if JaMarcus Russell works out as a backup, it'll pave the way for Vince Young to find his way back too.

 

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