It’s been quite awhile since the Raiders and reps for JaMarcus Russell have spoken, and if bets were handed down right now on the matter, it truly looks as if the number one pick in the 2007 NFL Draft will be sitting at home come opening day September 9th. A source says that Russell’s people and the Raiders have not spoken for over a week and that there is nothing at all new to report in that ongoing saga.
The thought of Russell being the Raiders starting quarterback opening day when they host the Lions is now all but out the window. Seems like best case, he comes in camp around the last preseason game of the year, gets a little seasoning from vets like Daunte Culpepper and others, and can take the field around week three or four, depending on if the Raiders can get a few wins early in the season to keep hopes of a successful 2007 alive.
Russell did recently buy a house in the Oakland area, meaning that maybe in his mind the trigger finger is starting to get itchy on telling his agents to get the deal done. He also will watch with extreme interest in Cleveland quarterback Brady Quinn’s debut this weekend when he plays the Lions. Quinn was another QB holdout until he and the Browns came to terms last week on a deal that could see him being the starter early in the 2007 season.
This past weekend the Raiders played their first preason game with new coach Lane Kiffin, and defeated the Arizona Cardinals 27-23. The three QB’s that played for Oakland were all average, and none really put their stamp on the starting job. Daunte Culpepper was 5-for-12 for 78 yards, Andrew Walter was 8-for-11 for 50 yards and a touchdown, and Josh McCown was 5-for-9 for 42 yards. It’s yet another thing Russell should look at as a reason to get a deal done – the starting job could be his for the taking if he can come in and establish himself early as a leader.