The former Oakland Raiders quarterback was rarely out of the headlines during his time in the NFL but what is JaMarcus Russell doing in 2022?
At Louisiana State University, JaMarcus Russell was one of the most highly touted football players in the country.
He was the starting quarterback at LSU in 2006, keeping out Matt Flynn and well-rated freshman Ryan Perrilloux. He had a productive 2006 regular season, leading the Tigers to a 10–2 record and a BCS Sugar Bowl berth.
Russell threw for 3,129 yards, 28 touchdowns and eight interceptions and was second in the SEC with 2,923 yards from scrimmage. He was named MVP of the 2007 Sugar Bowl.
His NFL career didn’t go as expected
Russell was selected first overall in the 2007 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. He immediately came into conflict with the organization, however, by engaging in a contract hold-out until the second week of the 2007 season. He finally signed a six-year contract worth up to $68 million, with $31.5 million guaranteed.
His 2008 season was solid, completing 198 of 368 passes for 2,423 yards, 13 touchdowns, eight interceptions, and a passer rating of 77.1.
However, in 2009, things started to go wrong. Russell was benched by head coach Tom Cable, who replaced Lane Kiffin the year before, and the team released him in May 2010. Over three NFL seasons, Russell completed 52.1 per cent of his passes (354 of 680) for 4,083 yards, 18 touchdowns, 23 interceptions, and a passer rating of 65.2.
He never played in the NFL again.
He recently appeared on a podcast to discuss his career
Russell recently joined The Pivot Podcast with Ryan Clark, Channing Crowder and Fred Taylor to discuss his NFL career.
During the conversation, he admitted he made many mistakes but believes he was never truly given a chance to succeed at the Raiders.
“I wasn’t doing crazy [expletive],” Russell said. “I was trying to chill, relax… and trying to win some football games. Unfortunately, I wasn’t winning. But I was dealt a [expletive] hand. I’m at practice, bro, and these folks couldn’t catch a reverse, bro. Six plays straight, but you want to go downfield and catch a 90-yard pass.
“No, I didn’t feel that [the Raiders wanted me] at all. Going into that building was like, ‘What’s going to happen today?’ I was getting fined for crazy [expletive]. They was trying to find ways to get paper back, I thought. Then they said I owed them money. Why would I owe them money? I signed a contract.”
The Focus has reached out to the Oakland Raiders organization for comment.
Life after the NFL
A number of teams, including the Saints, Bears and Washington Football team were reportedly interested in Russell after his release from the Raiders in 2010. However, he remained unsigned.
On September 26, 2010, ESPN reported Russell had moved to Houston, Texas, and was working out with former NBA stand-out and head coach John Lucas, who was also consulting him as a life coach. He worked out for the Dolphins but they did not sign him.
He tried to come back in 2013, trying out for the Bears. However, they did not ultimately sign him. In April 2016, Russell told Sports Illustrated he had written letters to all 32 NFL teams asking for a tryout and pledging to play one year for free, but he said no team responded.
What is JaMarcus Russell doing now?
Russell has spent the past few years as quarterbacks coach at Williamson High School, his alma mater in Alabama.
He spent many years out of the public eye but, in June 2022, wrote a personal essay for The Players Tribune entitled Y’all Don’t Know A Damn Thing About Jamarcus Russell.
In the essay, he detailed his struggles with the deaths of close family members. Talking about what he was up to after the NFL, he wrote: “In the years after I was released, I kind of lost myself for a minute. I ended up coming back home, and I started coaching up the kids at the same parks I used to play at back in the day, and that’s what made me find my love for the game again.”
On The Pivot Podcast, JaMarcus Russell shed further light on what he is doing in 2022.
“I’m doing well and I’m living life,” he said. “Keep me in your prayers and I’ll keep you in mine. I don’t want for nothing, I haven’t for a long time and it’s going to stay that way. I might have played three years, but those three years are going to cover a lifetime and more.
“My pivot after football was to become a human being again. You have to recalibrate that. I’m still working on becoming a better person day by day.”
Russell is not thought to be dating anyone and does not have children.
Estimated 2022 net worth
Despite never reaching his full potential, JaMarcus still made a healthy amount of money during his three years in the NFL, largely from his initial contract with the Raiders.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, JaMarcus Russell’s net worth in 2022 is about $4 million.
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