Former Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell made somewhere around $39 million for his three years and 31 games in the NFL. That comes out to about $1.26 million per start, or $2.17 million per touchdown pass, or $5.57 million per victory.
In plainer terms, he was perhaps the biggest bust in NFL history.
The 26-year-old talked with Sports Illustrated recently and explained a few things. He said sleep apnea was the cause for a number of his perceived issues, that former coach Tom Cable sold him out to the point where “the game wasn’t fun for me,” and that his teammates and organization didn’t always have his back.
“I may have missed a throw,” Russell told SI, “but I didn’t give up 42 points. I didn’t miss a block.”
Sounds like a real winner, no?
While Russell’s comments have ignited reaction around the sports world, none was better than Stephen A. Smith‘s on ESPN.
“I am a person that believes in second chances,” Smith said in the calm before the storm. “I think America is the land of second chances … except for when it comes to this dude. Mr. Jabba the Hutt, ya fat slob, no-good, lazy bum of a quarterback!
“This dude should be arrested for being a thief! He stole money from the Oakland Raiders. … This dude is the epitome of a disgrace.”
Smith’s outburst (which you can watch in full in the Video of the Day section) made Skip Bayless look calm and collected by comparison, which is no small accomplishment.
Despite the millions of folks like Stephen A. who doubt Russell’s heart and passion for the game, the quarterback doesn’t feel the need to try to prove them wrong.
“What if I don’t make it back to the NFL? I’ll be OK,” he said. “Being a competitor, I feel like I have unfinished business. Like, ‘It can’t end like this.’ But want to know the truth? I know that the game don’t owe me a damn thing.”
Has JaMarcus Russell surpassed Ryan Leaf as the biggest quarterback bust of all time?
“I guess I’m going to lie back on the couch like a big, fat pig and watch a movie.”
–Lance Berkman, on his plans for killing time after Wednesday night’s World Series game was postponed
What Tony La Russa needs is Siri, I’m pretty sure. Though even Siri would have trouble understanding Marc Rzepinski‘s name.
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