NFL Free Agency: Five Reasons Why the New York Jets Should Sign JaMarcus Russell
JaMarcus Russell is a free agent who is said to be preparing in Arizona for a return to the NFL. The former No. 1 overall pick almost certainly will get a second chance. He has all the skills to become a good NFL quarterback.
The Jets are also taking a look at Mark Brunell, who is the favorite. They also have Kellen Clemens.
The Jets would be wise to consider Russell, and here are five reasons why.
Russell has skills
In JaMarcus Russell's last season at LSU, he put up 3,129 yards, a 67.8 percent completion percentage, and 9.15 yards per attempt. He ran a pro-style offense and led the nation in passing efficiency. His pro day was considered by many to be the the best pro day ever seen. He was thought to be a very intelligent player who knew game plans inside and out.
The bottom line: This guy is better than any quarterback the Jets have not named Mark Sanchez.
Sometimes, quarterbacks take four to five years to develop.
Russell had two.
Quarterbacks develop at different paces: some catch on right away, while other take some time. Of course, some never catch on.
Russell performed well this year in mini camp. He was starting to show the effort that is needed to be an NFL quarterback.
He was only cut because he would have been owed $9.45 million.
The Jets need a veteran backup behind starter Mark Sanchez.
Kellen Clemens has not shown that he is a capable NFL quarterback. Mark Brunell no longer has the skills to get the job done.
Russell would be able to learn what it takes to succeed from Mark Sanchez.
Russell would not cost much. He would likely take an incentive-laden deal to compete for the starting job.
The Jets could get him for somewhere close to the league-minimum. The competition and incentives may get him motivated to get focused. The beauty is that this is a low-risk player. If it doesn't work out, the Jets can just release Russell at little cost.
Russell has something that Brunell and Clemens lack: potential.
Russell has struggled so far in the NFL, but he has the potential to be great. Any young quarterback would have struggled for the 2009 Raiders. They had injuries along the offensive line and the wide receivers were rookies.
The Jets could treat him like another draft pick. Bring him in slowly, build up his confidence, get him in shape, and let him learn how to play in the NFL. He is only 24-years-old after all.