At the time, drafting Jamarcus Russell first overall didn’t seem like such a terrible idea, especially for the Raiders. Let’s face it, Jamarcus is Al Davis’ dream player. In college he had the size, quickness and arm strength to project as a franchise quarterback in the NFL. Clearly that didn’t work out too well for the Raiders. Who woulda known that once you give the man $32 million guaranteed that he would become lazy and out of shape. However, he definitely played well enough to at least warrant a back up job in the NFL. I mean is he really that much worse than Kellen Clemens or Dan Orvlovsky? At least he’s never run out of the back of his own end zone when dropping back for a pass.
How can a player with so much potential be evaluated for his career after only 3 seasons, and only 2 as a full time starter? Given the team he played for and the talent surrounding him, he put up decent numbers in 2008: 2,423 yards, 13 touchdowns, 8 interceptions, 53.8% completion percentage. Of course he regressed in 2009 and lost his starting job, but nobody is gonna give him at least a chance to show he can still play if needed. Some of the best teams in the league (Saints, Patriots, Colts) have some of the worst backups in the league (Chase Daniels, Bryan Hoyer, Curtis Painter). What is the harm of bring him in as a backup? Odds are he’ll never see the field again, but I don’t see why if given a good offensive line and a good coaching staff, he couldn’t be a respectable backup.
As an added bonus, if he doesn’t pan out as a backup quarterback, he could at least build team chemistry by planning weekly team trips to Vegas or being the team supplier of Skittles. I see it as a win-win situation.