Bad investments have become routine in professional sports, but the $36.4 million the Oakland Raiders spent trying to turn JaMarcus Russell into an NFL quarterback has to rank among the all-time worst deals any team has made. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft was arrested Monday at his home in Mobile, Ala. for possession of a controlled substance -- codeine syrup -- according to the Mobile County Sheriff's office.
What does this have to do with the Jets? Absolutely nothing now. The team previously confirmed it had contacted Russell's agent to investigate his availability as a backup after being waived by Oakland. But while the Jets have shown a willingness to take risks on players, this one assuredly is too big.
The questions about Russell's ability to handle the NFL QB position were significant before this episode, but now, he is radioactive. The Mobile County Sheriff's department did not say what led to the arrest but did say Russell had no prescription for codeine, which can be mixed with a carbonated drink to produce a narcotic effect. Russell was booked but later released on $2,500 bond and is due back in court on July 20.
Jets backup QB Kellen Clemens is in no danger from Russell now.