Is JaMarcus Russell's time up in Oakland?
When the Raiders made the trade last weekend to bring in veteran QB Jason Campbell from Washington, it seemed easy to cut JaMarcus Russell out of the equation -- a former first-round pick who hasn’t produced, is overpaid and hasn’t really grasped the idea of what it takes to be a professional on Sundays.
We all know that, even after a report from our own Aaron Wilson on Monday that Russell is tipping the scales at 300 pounds. Another reason to question his work ethic and desire to be a starting QB at this level.
And that’s why, when reports from ESPN’s John Clayton surfaced yesterday that the Raiders are preparing to cut Russell by this weekend, we shouldn’t be surprised.
Add the Campbell deal to a pretty solid draft, one in which the Raiders didn’t reach for a workout guy like Maryland OT Bruce Campbell, and we’re starting to see a Raiders team making the right decisions — decisions that win football games and set up franchises to continue winning,
Letting Russell go will be the first step.
Call him a “bust” or a failed project</a>. It doesn’t really matter as long as he’s out of that locker room. Let Jason Campbell compete with the likes of Bruce Gradkowski, Kyle Boller and Charlie Frye. That’s a QB competition that is not handicapped by a first-round pick with a big check. It’s what we expect to see at an NFL training camp.
Maybe I’m being too hard on Russell, because the Raiders haven’t been a model franchise for years. They’ve made questionable moves, and Russell hasn’t been in the best situation for a young QB. We know he has raw talent and unique ability when it comes to throwing the football, but it all comes down to opportunities.
And Russell has had plenty to prove us all wrong -- enough that the Raiders know it’s time to move on.
The numbers obviously tell us that he doesn’t have it takes to play at this level. Only three TDs and 11 INTs last season to give him career numbers of 18 TDs and 23 picks. But I have to point at this lack of preparation and dedication to the QB position as the real reasons for his release — and his future on the unemployment line.
GMs and coaches can look past numbers in certain situations, but they can’t look past a player at the most important position in the NFL who doesn’t prepare like a true pro. That’s an issue for Russell.
I have to wonder about this guy if he does get released before the weekend. Russell is going to have a hard time catching on with another team and a hard time continuing his career.
However, that will be someone else’s problem as far as Tom Cable and Al Davis are concerned. Because this team looks like it’s moving forward with no room on the bus for JaMarcus.
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