Raiders wash their hands of JaMarcus Russell, pay him final $3 million
The Oakland Raiders are finally done with one of the biggest busts and worst contracts in NFL history by paying former No. 1 pick JaMarcus Russell $3 million.
Russell last threw a pass for the Raiders three-and-a-half years ago, according to Yahoo! Sports, and just now settled the remaining money on his contract by paying him this final amount. When the Raiders released Russell, they had already paid him $36.4 million of $68 million from his rookie contract.
NFL.com points out that Russell’s contract likely played a huge role in the new rookie salary scale the NFL owners wanted and got in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement. The Raiders had filed a $9.55 million grievance which Russell countered with his own $9 million grievance. Luckily, a settlement was reached before it was taken to court.
The Raiders already have $49.6 million in dead money on their cap this season, for players that aren’t on the team anymore, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Since Russell was labeled a bust back in 2009, with a passer rating of 50.0, the lowest since 1998, he has made strides to get back into football shape and refocus himself on the game. However, with another big check in his pocket, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if his attitude suddenly changed and went back into bust mode.
He has been training with former NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia. Garcia said that after struggling and not having a good attitude at first, Russell has really stepped it up and is close to where he was when he last played, both physically and mentally.
“He is a committed young man,” Garcia said. “A young man that knew he blew an opportunity, he missed out on an opportunity back in the day.”
“People are always saying I’m a bust,” Russell told Yahoo! in January. “I want to show them I’m not. I’m committed to this now.”
If Russell can actually stay committed and live up to the lofty expectations coaches once had for him, he could be a huge asset for any NFL team. However, don’t expect him to get any more big paychecks any time soon.