Russell caught sipping the Sizzurp

Former high draft pick QB JaMarcus Russell’s life away from the gridiron got even worse after his recent arrest for the “Sizzurp”

Those thinking that any day the NY Jets or some other team might soon be calling former NFL quarterback JaMarcus Russell’s representatives, may have a longer wait than expected.  The bizarre case of one of the NFL Draft’s biggest busts just got worse as the former first overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft was arrested in Alabama for possession of Codeine Cough Syrup aka “The Sizzurp”.

Surprisingly, Russell had lingered on the sidelines for months after the Oakland Raiders released back in April and he was supposedly in Arizona while “Getting in Shape”.  But several reports had placed him around his hometown of Mobile, Alabama and I guess the only shape he was getting into was an “Unconscious” one. 

For years, people on Oakland’s staff had labeled their former anointed franchise starter as lazy, aloof, and sometimes semi-conscious and maybe they finally found the reason why.  “The Sizzurup” like marijuana and painkillers – drugs that have been around NFL teams way before Russell was born — is just another escape mechanism. 

I guess Russell was using the substance to get away from the pain of being the punchline to so many draft bust jokes.  And let’s face it, the jokes were aplenty considering Russell accepted close to $37 Million from the Raiders while producing disappointing numbers — career starting record of 7-18 with numbers 354-680, 52.1%, 4083 yards, 18 TDs, and 23 INTs

Right now much like former NFL high-priced substance abusers – Jason Peter, Quincy Carter, Joe Gilliam, Cris Carter, and many others — Russell is at a career crossroads.  He can either look internally in order to get the help he needs to clean is act up to start the long road back to resume his once bright career or fall off into the Sports / Drugs Abyss that has claimed many an athlete. 

However I am not just ready to give-up on the very talented former LSU star.  Russell’s biggest problem had always been a lack of effort in terms of practice and reading his playbook and this is the first incident where he had been linked to off-the-field misconduct. 

The hefty high-RPM throwing passer still is young enough at 24 years old that his NFL career and life still has many unwritten chapters — still has the legal system and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to answer to.  Though it it is not the same cirmcumstances, he may want to contact soon to be Hall of Famer Kurt Warner to talk with a quarterback who was once at bottom of football’s Quarterback Scrap Heap only to make it back to the top.

Here’s hoping that Russell can get some help and get a football career back on track that once had pro personnel evaluators drooling at his famed Pro Day workout.



Lloyd Vance is a Sr. NFL Writer for Taking It to the House and Sports Journey Network , who is also an award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)


Author: lloydvance

Lloyd Vance is a NFL Writer, Analyst, Draft Expert, Researcher, and Historian. He serves as a Editor for "Taking It to the House and he covers the NFL on a daily basis. He is an Accredited Member of NFL Media and Philadelphia Eagles Media. Member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA), Pro Football Researchers Association (PFRA), and The Maxwell Football Club

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