Plenty of negative things have been said about former number one overall pick Jamarcus Russell’s play at quarterback with the Oakland Raiders and his lack of work ethic, but no one had any reason to question his moral character. Until now that is. The former Raiders gunslinger was arrested and charged with the possession of a controlled substance in his Alabama home on Monday. Codeine syrup is the substance in question for Russell and when mixed with a soda such as Sprite it forms a concoction typically known as sip-sip. This particular beverage was just featured on an Outside the Lines piece done by ESPN recently and is said to give the user an altered feeling of consciousness.
In all honesty, it seems as if Russell may not only have digressed in terms of quarterbacking skills while with the Raiders, but also in terms of mental acuity. Oakland paid the first overall pick of the 2007 NFL Draft $36.4 million over the three seasons he spent with the franchise. This blunder is just the latest mental hiccup in a long line of issues for Russell, but it just happens to be the first of which has taken place off of the field of play.
Word was that several teams were considering adding Russell to the mix of competition with their squads coming into training camp. That idea is now likely postponed indefinitely as no team with any sort of self-respect or any sense of team chemistry would add Russell into the mix with this hanging over his head. Among those interested were supposed to be Rex Ryan and the New York Jets, but now it appears that they have narrowed their focus to adding veteran Mark Brunell as a backup plan for Mark Sanchez.
The climb back to anywhere near an NFL starting quarterback has become much steeper now for Russell, but he turns 25 in August and still has a potentially long career ahead of him. Perhaps this incident will wake him up a bit and make him realize how much talent he is wasting at the moment. If he fails to see the errors of his ways now then it’s possible that there is no turning back for the strong armed signal caller that Raiders owner Al Davis fell in love with long ago. Only time will tell just which path Russell chooses to go down from this point on, but there is no question that this is a crossroads in his career.
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