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Raiders Cut Russell

The Raiders released quarterback JaMarcus Russell on May 6, ending his disastrous three-year tenure in Oakland.

Russell, the No. 1 pick in the 2007 NFL draft, was due $9.45 million this season. The Raiders reportedly still must pay him $3 million.

The Raiders reportedly paid Russell approximately $39 million for seven wins in 25 starts, a 52.1 completion percentage, 18 touchdown passes, 23 interceptions, 15 lost fumbles and a passer rating of 65.2.

Russell, right, is arguably the biggest draft bust in NFL history, surpassing San Diegoís Ryan Leaf, the No. 2 pick behind Peyton Manning in 1998.

Russellís release comes less than two weeks after Oakland acquired quarterback Jason Campbell from the Washington Redskins in exchange for a 2012 fourth-round draft choice. The Raiders reportedly gave Campbell a $4.5 million contract extension for 2011 to go along with a $3.1 million salary this season.

Russell, 24, lost his starting job after nine games into the 2009 season. His NFL career has been hampered by a rookie holdout, poor work habits, overweight and the lack of productive players around him.

Russellís tenure in Oakland got off to a rocky start and never escaped the abyss. He held out his first season, not signing a contract until after the first game of the 2007 regular season. That made his rookie season almost a loss, as he started only the season finale.

He showed signs of progress during his second season, with Oakland winning the final two games of 2008 against Houston and Tampa Bay. His problems of work ethic and being overweight never disappeared and his third season was a disaster.

Russell reportedly was fined for being overweight when he arrived at 2009 training camp. He then put together one of the worst seasons in recent memory for an NFL quarterback. He completed 48.8 percent of his passes, with three touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a 50.0 passer rating that was the lowest since Leaf, Bobby Hoying and Craig Whelihan all finished below 50 in 1998.

Indianapolis Colts defensive lineman Steve Emtman reportedly is the only other No. 1 pick since the common draft started in 1967 who was released this soon into his NFL career. He, too, was jettisoned after three seasons. Emtman played for three more seasons.

Contributing: The Associated Press & Oakland Tribune

Updated: 05-06-2010


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