Former NFL JaMarcus Russell asks for a second chance, says he’ll play for free

The former Oakland Raiders JaMarcus Russell expressed his strong desire to be back in the league and said that he will play for free if a team gave him a chance to play.

Russell, who was the first overall pick of the 2007 NFL Draft, was signed by the Oakland Raiders to a contract worth $61 million with $32 million guaranteed. However, due to inconsistent play, he was released by the Raiders on May 6, 2010, after finishing the 7-18 record in three seasons.

“God makes things happen for a reason,” Russell said in a video for Sports Illustrated. “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.”

Also included in the video was a letter wrote by JaMarcus Russell addressed to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

“I am willing to work my way in and up. I am willing to lead the scout team for free for one year just to get experience in your system.

“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. 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.

“What those rough years taught me is more valuable than any lesson that I could have learned elsewhere. 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.”

According to NFL, it was not Russell’s first time to make a comeback attempt wherein in 2013, Russell worked hard to lose 30 pounds to attract an NFL team but failed. Also, last year, he sent letters to 32 NFL teams to express his desire to play again in the league.

Russell must be really wanting to be back to the sports he loved and considered his dream knowing that he was ready to do anything to be given another chance to play. Also, for sure, his acts were not intended to gain sympathy in the NFL world but rather as a message saying that he wanted to be back to prove something in the league.

Photo courtesy: BrokenSphere/Wikimedia

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