JaMarcus Russell is the biggest bust in NFL history. Not exactly a bold statement by any means, but it comes with a certain sadness to declare that.
Many fans in East Bay hate the man whom Mel Kiper promised would become a top five NFL quarterback on draft day.
I don't hate him.
But I think he will eventually hate himself.
This article isn't designed to be an in-depth biography of his tenure in Oakland. But I will touch on some of the main points.
Russell didn't have it easy. Oakland was coming off one of the worst seasons in franchise history. There was a coaching change twice in his young career.
However, it's not as if Russell was an innocent child coming into the situation.
JaMarcus Russell was/is arguably the most physically talented quarterback to ever live, yet he self destructed before he came into the league.
Recent allegations have been made public Russell's syrup codeine use. I haven't done much research on codeine use, but I don't think it helps a person concentrate. Russell also admitted he failed a drug test in 2007 for that drug.
Make no mistake, I'm not making any excuses for Russell. Even if he hadn't used the drug, he still would have been a bust.
Russell had absolutely no intangibles coming into the league. It's not as if he carried his team to the Sugar Bowl in 2006.
Russell was one of five LSU Tigers selected in the first round of the 2007 draft. Ironically, all of them have been disappointments.
But going back to the main premise of this article, the former number one overall pick should hate himself for what he did to his career.
JaMarcus Russell wasted his career by becoming an overweight slacker that didn't care a lick about football.
That was shown in bold letters when he finally signed his deal week two of the 2007 season.
If you were blessed with Russell's immense talent, wouldn't you take full advantage of it?
Thousands of quarterbacks would kill for that kind of arm. Heck, probably half of the league's quarterbacks probably wish they could throw the ball 60 yards on foot, let alone on their knees.
Yes, he made around 30 million dollars in guaranteed money. I'm not sure how much is left, depending on what he spent on jewelry.
Money can (to an extent) buy happiness, but that kind of happiness can only sustain itself for a certain length of time.
Just because you're happy with the expensive piece of jewelry you bought, doesn't mean your life has a purpose.
For example, Glen Coffee of the San Francisco 49ers just retired in his second year. he quit football, but that doesn't mean his life has no purpose.
He plans to devote his life to his faith, and I think his fans and teammates should accept his decision, even praise him for doing something he loves rather than stick with an occupation he has no passion for.
I'm not sure what JaMarcus Russell's purpose in life is. I assume it's trying to redeem himself by making a return to football, but only he knows, or maybe he doesn't know what his goal in life is.
As a fan, I can't hate a pro athlete for what he's done on the field. No one forces me to be a fan of the Raiders, or any sports teams.
It's just not in my DNA.
It doesn't mean I'm not pissed at him for helping ruin an entire franchise and setting it back for three more painful years.
I just hope Russell doesn't regret his tenure in Oakland.
That very word is a feeling most people have at least once or twice in their life.
If it hasn't happened to him already, there will be a day when JaMarcus Russell wakes up in the morning and regrets his tenure in Oakland.
Russell will be wondering, "If only I was..."
Raider Nation will forever be wondering, "what could have been?"
JaMarcus Russell was a bust as an NFL quarterback. I just hope he doesn't continue to fail in another game.
The game of life.
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