Negative To a Positive: Could Arrest Do JaMarcus Russell's Career Good?

Ryan CookFeatured ColumnistJuly 7, 2010

HOUSTON - OCTOBER 04:  Quarterback JaMarcus Russell #2 of the Oakland Raiders walks off the field during play against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on October 4, 2009 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

If it's humor you want, then become an NFL fan—the league has plenty of it.

If it isn't Terrell Owens still struggling to find a contract, it's young JaMarcus Russell making mistake after mistake as he further digs himself a deeper hole to climb out of.

Okay, so not everyone finds these situations funny, but surely each and every one of us has encountered that unsympathetic fan who chuckles a little in regards to Russell's latest arrest, right?

I know I have. 

Therefore, it got me to thinking—why do people find Russell such a funny character in modern day football?

I mean, sure, he has packed on a few pounds, and Mel Kiper Jr.'s absurd prediction of "He could be the next John Elway" has gone totally south in a very short amount of time, but why is it that everyone feels they have to contribute their two cents when it comes to this young man?

I guess a lot of it is to do with Russell perhaps going down as one of the biggest draft busts in NFL history, behind Ryan Leaf of course.  It's not only that; it also has to do with his overall lack of displayed talent in recent years, as he has continually struggled to throw the ball, at least while on his feet, anyway.

Now, before you go ahead and criticize me one way or another, let me make one thing very clear: I am not sticking up for JaMarcus Russell in any way.  In fact, all I am trying to achieve here is to draw some kind of positive from the situation, as you and I both know that everyone is heavily focusing on negative right now.

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So here is my thinking.  More than two days ago, I wrote a piece stating that Russell may strive off of sitting in the free agency pool for a year.  In fact, that very situation could help him sort his career out a little, and help him get back on track.

Of course, I did make that statement before JaMarcus Russell was thrown into the back of a police car, and accused of codeine syrup charges, much to the delight of many fans.

However, the same thinking should still apply in this case.  Instead of seeing the situation for what it really is now, perhaps we should see the ultimate positive that could come of these charges, rather than thinking, "Yep, his career is definitely shot."

But before you go ahead and change your minds, let me use an example.  In 2008, Vince Young took nearly an entire year off, during a rather controversial period, which saw his career endure quite a roller coaster ride.

During that time, Vince Young got to thinking.  He worked on his skills, he spoke with the Tennessee Titans—a lot—and more importantly, he got his career back on track and figured out just what needed to be done.

So did this all work for Vince Young?  Well, I for one think so, considering he is once again the starter in Tennessee, and he is on the verge of what looks to be a very impressive 2010 season.

Now, I do know what you're thinking.  "JaMarcus Russell is no Vince Young, he is very far from it."  While, for the most part, this is true, wouldn't it be wise to throw Russell a bone, and see what he can do with it?

Surely it would be interesting.

If there is one thing we are accustomed to in the NFL, it is second chances.  Some players get them, and some players don't.  But surely if Ben Roethlisberger, Brian Cushing, and quite possibly Plaxico Burress can be welcomed back, so can young JaMarcus Russell.

It looks likely that JaMarcus will miss this season, and as delightful as this will be to some fans, it could help him recover and relax, and get things back on track for the future.

Put all the jokes aside, and consider giving him a second chance.  His talent is a question, and the recent allegations don't look all that good.  However, every cloud has a silver lining.  Hopefully JaMarcus' does, too, and hopefully Roger Goodell sees it.

Ryan Cook is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also an NFL columnist for Real Sports Net and a Green Bay Packers writer for Fan Huddle and PackerChatters. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter.

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