JaMarcus Russell: NFL Comeback Chances Seem All But Done

JaMarcus Russell: NFL Comeback Chances Seem All But Done

JaMarcus Russell may be done in his bid to return to the NFL.

The former top draft pick announced this offseason his plan to return to the NFL, and seemed to have a chance this week when the Chicago Bears lost third-string quarterback Matt Blanchard to a broken hand.

Russell had already worked out for the Bears in the offseason, the only team willing to give him a real look, but the team passed him up this week in favor of Jordan Palmer.

Russell got his NFL comeback bid started this offseason with a commitment to get back in shape. After ballooning to more than 300 pounds, the former No. 1 draft pick tweeted a picture of his new physique, bragging that he dropped 51 pounds.

The weight loss went a long way to quieting critics who said JaMarcus Russell was too lazy and unmotivated to play in the NFL. It also earned Russell the workout with the Chicago Bears where he showed off his strong arm but had a bit of rust.

Russell did earn some praise from a fellow quarterback after the workout.

“Well, he’s gonna come in looking more athletic. Even when he was heavier, he was pretty good on his feet. But he’s gonna be so much better on his feet,” said former NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia on ESPN Radio. “The natural abilities for him to throw the ball as people said when he was coming out of LSU — he is impressive in that way. He does have just the natural technique. That ball comes out so smooth, so effortlessly.”

Russell had only 25 starts in two years in the NFL, but he was able to leave with $30 million in salary through three seasons with the Raiders.

Now it seems increasingly unlikely that JaMarcus Russell will have a chance to earn any more playing time in the league. After being passed over by the Bears it would appear he’s not on the radar of any other teams.