The Raiders ended the JaMarcus Russell era on Thursday when they cut the first overall pick from the 2007 draft. Russell’s release comes less than two weeks after the team acquired QB Jason Campbell from the Washington Redskins. Raiders spokesman John Herrera said of the move to the AP, “We wish him well.”
Russell’s tenure in Oakland will go down as one of the biggest draft mistakes in league history. The Raiders committed more than $30 million in guaranteed money to the LSU product in 2007. But he never came close to meeting expectations and was dogged by criticisms about his commitment level and weight. In three seasons, Russell started 25 games and won just seven of them. Russell will end up realizing approximately $42 million in salary according to NFL Network. Since the common draft was instituted in 1967, his 25 starts are the fewest by any quarterback drafted No. 1 overall (San Francisco’s Alex Smithis next with 40 but will likely extend that number this season).
Early in the offseason, head coach Tom Cable said he would hold an open competition between Russell and Bruce Gradkowki for the team’s starting QB job in training camp. But that changed when Campbell was acquired on April 24. He said at the time that he expected to become the team’s starter. Cable held off anointing him so, and Russell participated in the team’s minicamp last weekend. Russell said last Friday, “My thing is to keep coming out to work until they tell me not to.”
Well, JaMarcus, it looks like they just told you not to.