Will Former LSU Star JeMarcus Russell Make It Back Into The NFL?
I was in the Louisiana Superdome on January 3rd, 2007, watching JeMarcus Russell complete 21 of 34 passes for 332 yards & a pair of touchdowns in LSU’s 41-14 Sugar Bowl rout of Notre Dame. Russell went on to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft. He held out, and eventually signed a $62 million dollar (31.5 million guaranteed) contract with the Oakland Raiders. He played three seasons for the silver and black. Russell went 7-18, completeing 354 of 680 passes for 18 TD & 23 interceptions. He ballooned to over 300 pounds. Russell was released in 2010. Since then, he’s had brushes with the law and apparent drug problems.
The NFL Network reports Russell has slimmed down with the hopes of attracting interest from an NFL team. He’s dropped 50 pounds, recently weighing in at 265 pounds, his weight at the 2007 scouting combine.
Russell will be one of four free agent quarterbacks who will work out for the Chicago Bears this Friday, according to ESPN Chicago. The Chicago Tribune reports that Trent Edwards and Jordan Palmer will also work out for the bears.
Russell has been working with former NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia in Southern California.
Jay Cutler is currently listed as the starter and veteran Josh McCown as the back-up. The current No. 3 is Matt Blanchard, an undrafted 2012 rookie from Wisconsin-Whitewater who spent most of the 2012 season on the Bears’ practice squad.
I’ve been openly critical of him in the past, but I love a good redemption story as much as anyone. Best of luck to him.