One can make a very strong case that former No. 1 overall pick JaMarcus Russell is the biggest bust in NFL history. Taken by the Oakland Raiders out of LSU in 2007, Russell didn’t just eat his way out of the pros—looking more like an offensive lineman than a quarterback by the end of his Raiders days—but he got busted a couple times for drinking that purple drank, ultimately signaling the end for him.
And while JaMarcus hasn’t played a single snap in the NFL since 2009, that hasn’t diminished his dream of getting another chance, as he talked to Sports Illustrated about how badly he wants one last opportunity, per SI:
“God makes things happen for a reason,” Russell said. “Who’s to say? You might see me back. You never know, man. You never know.
“Whatever it is — I can be a water boy and work my way into a scout team. It doesn’t matter. I’ll go play for free.”
Russell, who slimmed himself down and tried reviving his football career a couple of years ago, continued by owning up to his perception both around the league and amongst fans, adding:
“I know that my name does not carry much weight in the NFL right now, but I am more than the image that others have bestowed on me,” Russell wrote. “I’ve been labeled as a bust, I have been labeled as lazy and I have been the targets of many insults by the media. The blame for any negative press that I’ve received rested squarely on my shoulders. … My tribulations have humbled me. I am a better man because of my struggles, and I simply desire an opportunity [to] redeem myself. I do not want my legacy to be a trail of unfulfilled dreams and missed opportunities.”
“I am willing to lead the scout team for free for one year just to get experience in your system.”
After making more than $36 million from his rookie deal with the Raiders, it’s hard to feel too bad for Russell. However, it’s interesting to hear a guy who had everything in front of him at age 21 discover how he wishes he could have been the man he is now back then.
Sadly, for JaMarcus, I doubt any team will take a chance on him—unless they’re looking for a water boy with a laser rocket arm to sling drinks.