JaMarcus Russell: Former Raiders QB Has No Chance of Returning to NFL

Alex KayCorrespondent IOctober 26, 2011

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 03:  JaMarcus Russell #2 of the Oakland Raiders looks on 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

Most of you already know the tragedy that is the football career of JaMarcus Russell.

He went from being an absolute stud for the LSU Tigers and the Oakland Raiders’ No. 1 overall draft pick in 2005 to being released and out of football by the end of the 2009 season.

The next year he was arrested for possession of codeine syrup without a prescription and reports started surfacing that he was using it to concoct "purple drank" during his playing career.

After the arrest, JaMarcus seemed to be intent on getting back on the football field and in the NFL by working out with John Lucas, a former NBA player who has a history of helping athletes troubled by drug problems after having a history with them himself.

Unfortunately, Russell remained a self-destructive individual and his life spiraled back into turmoil earlier this year. It was first reported that his mansion was foreclosed on in March and in April Lucas was forced to "give up" on the troubled young man.

Sports Illustrated reporter L. Jon Wertheim caught up with Russell for a feature coming out in the Oct. 31 edition of the publication.

Wertheim says that Russell doesn’t look as fat or out of shape as many media outlets are reporting but he isn’t in NFL shape.

Russell also said he isn’t broke and only used codeine to deal with sleep apnea.

Despite those issues, Russell isn’t sure what he is going to do with life and his plan to return to the NFL seems horribly inefficient.

Wertheim writes:

Why did Russell dismiss offers from teams in the UFL and the Canadian league? "Name one kid in the world who says, 'I can't wait to play in the CFL!' That s--- don't work." How's he going to get back into shape? "I'm going to work out at LSU in the spring, take classes and hopefully get [invited] to a camp this summer... . Also, I'm building a 50-yard turf field on my property." What about the sleep apnea? "I got it under control, man." Does he have regrets? "I live life without regret. I can wish it had gone different. But my momma told me as long as I'm living and breathing, I got nothing to complain about."

Those seem like pipe dreams for a man whose life coach quit on him. They also aren't reasonable at all. He needs to prove himself in the UFL or CFL to even get a look from an NFL scout at this point.

JaMarcus finishes the interview with a poignant statement,

"I know that the game don't owe me a damn thing."

It certainly doesn’t. 


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