JaMarcus Russell Arrested For Possession Of Controlled Substance

July 6, 2010- By Jonathan Lowell

Former Oakland Raider quarterback JaMarcus Russell was arrested at his home in Alabama Monday for possession of a controlled substance.  Authorities discovered that Russell was in possession of codeine syrup that he failed to produce a prescription for.

The former Louisiana State University Tiger was one target in an undercover police operation aimed at discovering illegal narcotics.  Police spokeswoman Lori Myles said there were several people in Russell’s home at the time of his arrest, but JaMarcus was the only one taken into custody.  She described the typical recreational use of the codeine syrup.

“We understand that typically sometime this codeine syrup is mixed with a beverage, like sprite, and they call it sip-sip,” Myles told a local TV station in an interview.

Russell was booked Monday in his hometown of Mobile, and released later on $2,500 bond.  He graduated Lillie B. Williamson High School where he set an Alabama High School Athletic Association record for career passing yards with 10,774 that still stands to this day.  In his senior season, Russell completed 219-372 passes for 3,332 yards and 22 touchdowns.  He also rushed for 400 yards and an additional five touchdowns.

Parade magazine named Russell as an All-American honorable mention.  His versatility made him a top recruit for Nick Saban at LSU.  In his Junior season Russell led the Tigers to the Sugar Bowl against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.  He gained over 350 yards passing and rushing in the game, and accounted for three total touchdowns.  He was voted Sugar Bowl MVP for his performance.

That effort in his last college game gave the Oakland Raiders the justification they needed to select Russell with the first overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft.  Russell held out in training camp, and eventually signed a huge six-year contract that maxed out at $68 million. His first NFL guaranteed at least $31.5 million.  He never justified the Raiders’ investment.

Russell has struggled in his NFL career since coming on for Josh McCown in 2007.  He has not been able to show his versatility with his feet, and has just above a 50 percent completion rating.  In 12 games last season, Russell threw only three touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

The Raiders released Russell at the beginning of the 2010 season due to his poor form.  The quarterback has only won seven of his 25 starts, and has been benched several times.  His career passer rating currently stands at 65.2.

USA sportsbooks
have set the Raiders as the underdogs without Russell to win the AFC West at +750 odds.  Pre-season lines for the 2010 AFC Championship have set the Raiders at +5000 underdogs to win, and early odds for the Raiders to win Super Bowl XLV are set at +12500.

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