Raiders

Raiders

Editor's note: The above video is from July 2013.

Is JaMarcus Russell attempting an NFL comeback?

In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, the former Raiders quarterback said some interesting things.

"God makes things happen for a reason," Russell said. "Who's to say? You might see me back (laughing). You never know, man. You never know.

"Whatever it is -- I can be a water boy and work my way into a scout team. It doesn't matter. I'll go play for free."

The Raiders selected Russell with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft, and after a holdout, signed him to a 6-year, $68 million deal that included $31 million in guaranteed money.

From 2007 to 2009, he appeared in 31 games (25 starts), completing 52 percent of his passes for 4083 yards. He threw 18 touchdowns and 23 interceptions.

Oakland released Russell in May 2010. He reportedly worked out for the Bears in June 2013 but nothing came from it.

According to Sports Illustrated, Russell wrote a letter to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones last season asking for a shot.

An excerpt:

"I am writing this letter to reach out to the Cowboys organization and to express my desire and interest to become a part of your family. Let me begin by saying that if you are reading this letter, I am greatly appreciative of you taking time from your busy schedule to do so. Let me also say that I don’t write this letter with any preconceived notions of a huge salary or unseating your current starting quarterback. I am willing to work my way in and up. I am willing to lead the scout team for free for one year just to get experience in your system. I want to learn the playbook, sit under the proper tutelage and learn from your coaching staff. After that time, if you see fit to allow me to stay with the Cowboys organization, I would be eternally grateful.

 

“As a former NFL player, I understand the daily grind that football operations can be,” Russell wrote. “I am prepared to be physically examined and to have my football IQ evaluated. I would sincerely like an opportunity to come to Dallas and meet with you and the coaching staff. I know that my name does not carry much weight in the NFL right now but I am more than the image that others have bestowed on me. I’ve been labeled as a bust, I have been labeled as lazy and I have been the target of many insults by the media. The blame for any negative press that I’ve received rests squarely on my shoulders. When I was initially drafted into the NFL as the Number 1 overall pick there were enormous expectations heaped upon me. It did not help that I went to a struggling team that lacked infrastructure and veteran leadership. It also did not help that I was 20 years old and became a millionaire overnight.”

In July 2013, the Raiders reportedly paid Russell $3 million in a settlement over his disputed rookie contract.