Published May 07, 2010
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The Oakland Raiders have released former number one overall draft pick JaMarcus Russell, the club said on their website (www.raiders.com).
The Raiders sent Russell packing three years after signing the former Louisiana State quarterback to a six-year contract that guaranteed him $32 million.
The 24-year-old earned another $7 million in salary and bonuses but never lived up to the potential managing general partner Al Davis had hoped in drafting him number one in 2007 over the objections of then-coach Lane Kiffin.
Russell, in a brief telephone interview with San Francisco television station KPIX (http://cbs5.com), said he had been informed of his release through his agent. He said he had not spoken to any official from the Raiders.
Asked his future plans, Russell said he would take a short break and "try to get back on top of everything."
He said he had not been contacted by any other NFL team.
Jason Campbell, the former Washington Redskins signal caller, is expected to inherit the starting job in Oakland over Bruce Gradkowski, who started the last part of the 2009 season but is recovering from surgery for a torn pectoral muscle.
Campbell was acquired in a trade with the Redskins in April. He became expendable by the Redskins after they signed former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb.
Russell started 25 games in three seasons in Oakland, leading the Raiders to just seven victories. He was benched after nine games last season.
He completed only 52.1 per cent of his passes for 18 touchdowns and 23 interceptions, losing 15 fumbles while being sacked 70 times.
(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; Editing by Steve Ginsburg)