JaMarcus Russell threw a couple of passes with the Chicago Bears last week and he apparently has a tryout coming up with the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.
Russell, who was taken by the Oakland Raiders with the No. 1 pick during the 2007 NFL draft, hasn’t played a down of professional football since 2009. The quarterback earned more than $30 million during his short career but his inconstant performance, coupled with off the field problems, left him without a team at the end of the 2009 season.
Russell has lost over 50 pounds during his bid to return to the NFL and that dedication impressed Bears quarterback coach Marc Trestman. Unfortunately, Trestman was not too impressed with Russell’s performance on the field.
Bears running back Michael Bush, a former teammate of Russell’s, said that he hopes the Bears give him another chance.
Bush told ESPN: “A lot of people gave him a bad rap after his stint in Oakland. He wasn’t put in good situations to become a good player. We had different coordinators. The line was changing every day. The receivers were changing.”
Russell probably won’t find a spot with the Bears but his bid to return to the NFL is far from over. The quarterback has reportedly been talking to the Ravens about a tryout although the Baltimore Sun reports that no workout is scheduled.
Brian Martin, the founder of T.E.S.T. Football Academy, which has been training Russell, said that the Ravens would be a good fit for Russell. The team is already set at the quarterback position but Martin said that Russell is looking to be a backup during the 2013 season.
Martin said: “I think it’s a good spot for him as a potential opportunity and Baltimore has come up in some conversations … He’s OK with being a backup. He wants to come in and learn.”