Teams taking an interest in JaMarcus Russell's comeback attempt
As a result of Russell's rare tools, there is a possibility that scouts around the league are beginning to take an interest in his recently announced comeback attempt.
"I've been following his comeback story pretty closely," one NFC scout said. "I think a lot of teams are. Good chance he gets a second shot."
Mike Freeman of CBS has also stated that "more than a few teams" have been keeping tabs on Russell.
Keep in mind, we're talking about a player who failed in large part due to immaturity - laziness, lack of commitment, and an incessant craving for Krispy Kreme donuts (or something else that skyrockets your weight). There is no way of knowing what Russell could have been had he committed himself to the game of football from the time he entered the league. All the talent was there, but his head wasn't.
Russell actually didn't have a terrible season during his sophomore campaign, finishing with a 5-10 record (not that bad by Raiders standards) and a 77.1 quarterback rating. It was the following season (2009) that Russell bought himself a one-way ticket out of Oakland by posting a quarterback rating of 50.0.
Granted, that 2009 team was awful. Three of the Raiders starting offensive linemen haven't been full-time starters since that season. The starting receivers were Louis Murphy and then-rookie Darrius Heyward-Bey (11 starts, nine catches all season). I'm not excusing Russell's performance (as it was all-time bad), but I am saying that it was an extremely difficult situation to be productive in.
At the age of 27, Russell is still young enough to have a future in the NFL. At the same time, he is hopefully old enough to have learned from his mistakes and have used them to improve himself as a person.
Russell's likely fit would be as a third-string signal caller for a team with a good veteran starter. Who knows? Maybe by the time that veteran moves on, Russell will be 29 or 30 and ready to challenge for a starting job. Is it a long shot? Of course, but stranger things have happened - I think.