Redskins Bring In Former Oakland Raider JaMarcus Russell For A Workout
Just when you thought the Redskins' quarterback situation couldn't get any more interesting, the team has decided to bring in former Raider and monumental draft bust JaMarcus Russell for a workout on Tuesday.
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ESPN 980's Chris Russell just caught up with Ethan Lock, JaMarcus Russell's agent, to discuss the former Oakland quarterback's workout with the Redskins earlier today. Lock said that Russell has been "training very hard," and that no decision on his future has been made yet.
Lock is also obviously is well-aware of Mike Shanahan's language in trying to explain the decision to bench Donovan McNabb. How else do you explain this quote?
"JaMarcus is in great 'cardiovascular condition'. He's runnning [sic.] 3.5 miles every other day." #Redskins
I wasn't aware that running 3.5 miles every other day was a sign of stepping up one's work ethic, but we are talking about JaMarcus Russell here, so who knows. I know plenty of people who can run 3.5 miles every other day, and they aren't football players.
If you're wondering why JaMarcus Russell was working out with the Washington Redskins today, two days after Donovan McNabb was benched for Rex Grossman, you're not alone. However, it is worth noting that it's not like the Redskins worked out Russell individually. As ESPN's Adam Schefter notes, the Redskins worked out 20 people in total today, including Russell. It's not clear who else was there, or even if it was exactly 20 players, but we do know that Russell was not the only guy brought in today.
Every NFL team works out "street" free agents every Tuesday and the Redskins chose the bye week to get a head start on future evaluations. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and assistant coaches Matt LaFleur, Bob Slowik and Steve Jackson and members of the scouting staff viewed the workout.
Normally, Tuesday is an off day for the media, but because it's a bye week, the Redskins had availability with their coordinators. In the midst of that, media was able to see that the team was working out several players, including Russell.
As for Russell's performance? John Lucas, a former NBA star that has taken Russell under his wing, told ESPN 980 that Russell threw the ball "very, very well" today. He also said that Russell has been training hard and has lost 35 pounds after hitting a rough patch in his life due to family tragedy.
The World continues to surprise and amaze me. Just when I thought this whole Donovan Mcnabb/RexGrossman/quarterback controversy situation with the Redskins couldn't get any weirder, the team has decided to bring in JaMarcus Russell of all people for a workout:
I guess Shanahan doesn't really need his quarterback to have too much cardiovascular endurance if the team is considering bringing Russell on board.
But the big question is, where does he fit? The team has McNabb, Rex Grossman and John Beck who signed a two year deal with the club after they traded for him in training camp. If the team actually has some interest in brinign Russell into the fold, one of the three quarterbacks on the roster is in danger of losing his job.
This also raises some concerns about the state of Donovan McNabb's contract extension. Actually, this whole thing is just concerning in every way. Russell showed very little during his time with the Raiders that proved he could be a competent quarterback at this level. Why would the Redskins think that could change?
I think the Redskins just see an opportunity to bring in a guy who has enough talent to make him the first overall pick, and that might have learned a lesson from his experience in Oakland. Or that is the hope at least. This is going to be very newsworthy, especially considering the events of the past weekend, but I think it is just a classic low-risk, any reward situation. We'll have more information about how Russell's workout went today and if the team decides to bring him into the fold as it becomes available.