JaMarcus Russell: Why He Has Nobody To Blame But Himself

Michael AkelsonCorrespondent IApril 29, 2010

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

JaMarcus Russell was given a gift from the football gods, but he politely declined.

Not everybody is awarded a 6' 6", 260 frame, with an arm that belongs in NASA. But JaMarcus Russell was not everybody.

He was special, special enough to be chosen first overall in the 2007 NFL Draft.

He was special enough to be chosen before Calvin Johnson, Joe Thomas, Adrian Peterson, Patrick Willis, Darrelle Revis, and Jon Beason in the NFL Draft.

He was special enough to throw the ball farther from his knees than two Chad Pennington's could standing up.

And he blew it.

He was given every last chance to succeed.

His No. 1 fan was the owner of the franchise that he was supposed to change for the better.

And the only place he could bring it was downhill.

It became more and more clear by the day that JaMarcus Russell cared little about winning and even less about the Oakland Raiders.

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Russell's less than stellar play was blamed on nearly everybody in the Raiders organization, everybody but JaMarcus Russell.

He showed disregard for staying in shape as he continued to gain weight.ย 

He showed disregard for his whole game.

JaMarcus Russell's regard for football ended as soon as he was awarded $37 million in guaranteed money before ever taking an NFL snap.

On Saturday the Raiders finally said enough, when they traded for Jason Campbell, and it was about time.

We'll never know just how good JaMarcus Russell could have been, but there is only one person to blame for that: JaMarcus Russell.

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