Make room on your fantasy squad…
JaMarcus “Keep Him Away From the Purple Drank” Russell is planning an NFL comeback.
Russell has not played in a competitive football game in over three years, and in terms of activity, he hasn’t been doing much more than cruising around the American South at a robust 320 lbs. In addition the excessive weight (which he has trimmed close the 300 lbs mark, reportedly), he carries a significant burden on his very large shoulders: he is widely considered the biggest bust in NFL history.
But according to Russell, he’s not.
“People would say [that] I didn’t love the game but that pisses me off. People don’t know the real you but I want people to know the real me and see what I can do. People are always saying that I’m a bust. I want to show them I’m not. I’m committed to this now.”
In all fairness to the big fella (with one of the biggest arms I’ve ever seen), he never really stood a chance after following the advice of his agent and holding out before his rookie season. To be thrust into the mix with the Oakland Raiders, and expected to play with little understanding of the league, he was destined for failure. That having been said, his inability to motivate himself and work outside of his comfort zone led to his rapid final burn.
To his credit, Russell is beloved by those who have gotten to know him. He seems to be a genuinely nice guy. Unfortunately, he also seems to be a little too trusting and weak between the ears. Still, he’s only 27 — two years younger than Cleveland Browns rookie Brandon Weeden — and Russell is getting help from some individuals who have enjoyed moderate to wild success in the NFL. He is presently mentored by fellow LSU alum., Mike Clayton, and allegedly getting technique training and advice on x’s and o’s from former NFL stars, Jeff Garcia and Marshall Faulk. Maybe fate is smiling on Russell.
Sure, in the grand scheme of making a comeback, the odds are stacked against him. Regardless, his tools and physical gifts are impressive in the least — and potentially elite with some refining. If he gets invited to a camp, shows up to his meetings on time, stays awake during film sessions and takes command while on the field…? One would have to think that he’ll play for cheap, so don’t be surprised to see him make a roster when pre-season rolls around.