A Spectacular Bust Wants a Chance to Un-Bust
The term draft bust is thrown around like an intercepted flat pass this time of year.
It's the pick-six of springtime.
A losing season is rough on a team, but a losing season that yields a draft bust is nothing short of an utter disaster.
The prime example is former No 1 overall pick JaMarcus Russell out of LSU:
At the time, dude was obviously thought to be a great physical talent. Sure, he was a little large in the mid-section, but his arm strength was considered second to none.
In taking Russell, the Oakland Raiders thought they had their chucker of the future.
Well, we now know that Russell’s weight problem -- as well as his lackluster work ethic -- proved to be a bigger problem than originally expected.
It was a minor miracle he lasted three years in Oakland before the Raiders finally wrote off their investment and cut him in 2010. In his tenure with the Silver & Black, Russell mustered a mere seven wins and an 18:23 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
Think of it as buying a container of Drāno for a whopping $39million.
In 2013, after a three-year hiatus from football and Oreos, Russell attempted to make a comeback with the Chicago Bears. Losing 50 pounds got him back to his rookie weight. Unfortunately, the only way he could've connected with his receivers was with a hand grenade, and even that might not have had the necessary range.
Now, after another three years away from the game, dude's attempting yet another comeback.
This time, he's taken to writing letters to NFL owners.
Russell's offer is enticing:
- He'll lead the scout team,
- He'll be the team water boy, and/or
- He'll even work for free.
You can say those sort of things after banking $39million.
In the cold light of harsh reality, Russell's 30 years old and, physically, his ship's probably sailed. Besides the stigma around his name, there's the fact that he hasn’t played organized football since 2009.
Then again, dude hasn't been indicted by anyone lately, so what would it really a cost a sad-sack club like the Browns to give a non-guaranteed contract to someone who's re-discovered his work ethic?
The NFLPA would have a thing or two to say about the salary offer setting a bad precedent, but other than that, if Tim Tebow could be brought outta mothballs, why not the wreck of the SS JaMarcus Russell?
Stranger things have happened at sea, so maybe this one would actually make it to Cleveland.