The common word, of course, is 'bust'. And the simplest way to describe the Oakland Raiders is a worthless, pathetic, chaotic franchise mired in disarray. If there was ever a proper time to bash an enigmatic front office that has made some of the dumbest blunders as far as draft picks goes, now marks a suitable time to critique the Raiders' draft selection.
His name, of course, is JaMarcus Russell, the No. 1 overall draftee in the 2007 NFL Draft. It’s always a risk to venture and trust in an athletic prospect, a usual trend ruining the Raiders rebuilding projects and wrecking self-motivation.
Nowadays, the Raiders are committing suicide with all the terrible mistakes. And nowadays, it’s almost laughable whenever a disoriented organization is discredited or obligated to mockery. Each season has been a downgrade with all the turmoil surrounding the dysfunctional Raiders.
The result of late is that Russell is an unproven quarterback who failed to confirm his potential as possibly the next solid franchise superstar to remove Oakland from the hellish age of collapses and struggles. The man running an esoteric business, Al Davis, gambled and cost his organization millions by trusting in Russell.
Whether he was desperate or allured by his exceptional passing game during his collegiate career or aroused of his intelligence and throwing strength, Russell was never the solution to the Raiders' breakdowns. It’s obvious that the Raiders are run by a confounded owner unsure of which direction he’s willing to take his futile team.
In other words, it will be until next decade or never that Oakland tosses out misery and dismiss futility. According to reports, the Raiders could be on verge of releasing Russell, a disappointing athlete and probably the most notable bust since Ryan Leaf.
It’s very pathetic and overwhelming that he’s the prototype of rookie salaries amiss, earning $39 million from the Raiders over the past three years. More than ever, he was able to feed his family and live a wealthy lifestyle, thanks to a livelihood in which he never proved worthy or enhanced his abilities to mellow as an elite and franchise quarterback.
With much uncertainty, the Raiders' mandatory three-day minicamp begins Friday, but as usual, it’s mired in a chaotic mess that will likely educe media frenzies and dilate distractions. In theory, he’ll be released and become a free agent in which he may have to find a landing spot come next season, even though the organization is wisely deliberating whether to allow the overpaid former No. 1 overall pick near the team’s practice facility. He was brought in to resuscitate a horrible franchise and satisfy disgruntled and avid fans, finally garnering an assumption that it was the year to climb into contention.
In three seasons, Russell has lost trustworthiness among fans and ownership. In three seasons, the franchise has succumbed to reality, interpreting that he’ll never transcend as an exquisite quarterback.
Recently, there’s much buzz that the Russell era has reached a closure, and his relationship is suddenly dwindling. So now, no later than this week, it’s sensible if the Raiders cut a scrutinized Russell. But it’s hard to evaluate and forecast Oakland’s suggestions, with an egomaniac owner in Davis.
Worst is, he has debilitated revamping teams in the past, taking command with his overbearing demeanor and his penchant for coaching and dictating the schemes from the owner’s press box. It’s clearly inevitable to fail if he demands dictatorship and denies permitting coaches with leeway to muster personal decisions. It’s worth mentioning Mike Shanahan and Jon Gruden were driven away for Davis’ faulty communication with his employees. So does that mean he blundered by choosing Russell? Absolutely!
At the finish of the ’07 season, the Raiders faced much humiliation and misery. Coming off their worst season in 44 years under Davis, the rebellious boss' intent was to rebuild around a promising quarterback. Russell was a mere impressive quarterback at LSU, and was named the starting quarterback, but didn’t amaze executives or committed fans.
It’s likely the last time the Raiders will ever see or employ Russell, if he’s released and signs elsewhere. Some time soon, he’ll be declared a bust and quickly his name will fittingly stand in the company of Leaf, Andre Ware, Rick Mirer, David Carr, and Terry Baker. So he’ll still be recognized in some way, unfortunately just as a bust.
In his pro career, Russell disappeared. He unraveled at the pro level, and stunned scouts and coaches who actually evaluated and glimpsed at his accuracy and arm strength, but have yet seen him break out in a real game. For whatever reason, he has unsteadily disintegrated ever since he started cashing in huge bucks.
The Raiders are disgusted with his abundance of flaws over the past three seasons, aiming now to move forward with Jason Campbell, the newly acquired quarterback from the Washington Redskins, who’s expected to replace him as Oakland’s starting quarterback this season.
Do you blame the Raiders? Here’s a tip:
The organization paid Russell over $30 million in guaranteed money as part of his six-year, $68 million rookie deal. A few years later after he signed the mammoth deal, his work ethic declined and he started having indolent performances by committing careless miscues to cost the Raiders a significant amount of games. It started to become ugly, to the point teammates were questioning a level of concern with Russell’s immediate debacles.
Last season alone, he possessed a 50 passer rating, the lowest in the NFL in 11 years. And shortly after, he was benched in the favor of Bruce Gradkowski, who has proven that he could conduct a decent offense.
Oh, sure, it could be one of the most compelling franchises in an undermined AFC West division. Darren McFadden is an explosive running back and Nnamdi Asomugha is a premiere cornerback, a top-notch defender in the secondary. But none of that matters if the Raiders' dysfunction delay their normal ritual. That is, “Commitment to Excellence.” But these days, it’s more appropriate to say “Commitment to Failure,” after bringing in the NFL’s most disappointing bust, if not in this era, in league history.
It’s time to wave good-riddance and farewell to a worthless bust. Bye, Russell. Too bad it ended so agonizingly.
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