If you are a Jason Campbell fan, today’s news out of Oakland was inevitable. The Raiders released their 2007 No. 1 draft pick quarterback JaMarcus Russell this afternoon, ending the 24 year old’s troubled career with Al Davis’ team.
The move cements Campbell’s bid to be the Raiders starting quarterback. That’s a classic good news-bad news scenario. The good news is that Campbell is the clear upgrade over every other quarterback on the roster. The bad news? It’s the Raiders who finished with a 10-22 record with Russell at the helm.
Redskin fans like me shouldn’t speak too loudly. Campbell suffered from turmoil by Washington’s front office. He couldn’t lift the Redskins from the Snyderrato tornado last season, though he tried mightily. Going from Washington to Oakland is jumping from the frying pan into the fire.
But Campbell’s just the Russell antidote the Raiders need. He works. He got better every year he’s started. He’s a solid mid-tier NFL starter who can do well by a team with decent talent and consistent leadership.
You learned everything you needed to know about Russell by by his prolonged rookie contract negotiation that didn’t end until after the season started. Guys like that don’t win for you. Oakland should have reduced their offer to reflect his declining value.
They didn’t. They should not have expected better. Russell got $40 million of Al Davis’ money. Campbell, who is more deserving, won’t see as much, but will deliver more.
Meanwhile, the talking heads on ESPN say Russell will land on another team. For the life of me, I don’t know why. Russell spent the last three years under-performing for $40 million. No coach has the skills to motivate him to fight for the second or third spot on the roster for one or two million. That goes against human nature. An owner would have to be as gullible as Al Davis to believe otherwise.
Pacman Jones signed with Cincinnati today. Maybe Mike Brown is that guy.