All JaMarcus Russell wanted was a chance, and the Chicago Bears, who have Matt Blanchard and Josh McCown playing backup quarterback behind Jay Cutler, are the team that gives him the workout he’s been working to get.
The Bears won’t be working out only him, but a number of other veterans, presumably Tyler Thigpen, Vince Young, Trent Edwards and Matt Leinart, all without a team, but it seems the big story in all of this is Russell, who has been pretty much kicked out of the league after a disastrous and very expensive beginning with the Oakland Raiders.
The former overall number one draft pick (2007) has shed around 50 pounds from his weight which was one of the things that plagued him after he entered the NFL, finding himself without a job after the 2009 season, in which he played 12 games, completing only 48.8% of his passes, while throwing for only 3 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, turning the ball over nine more times, and posting a QBR of 11.1.
Russell doesn’t want to be a starter; he isn’t delusional enough to think someone might take that kind of chance on him. What he does want is to remain in the NFL, giving himself a certain deadline (40 more days?) to find a team that is willing to put him on the bench, sitting behind a veteran quarterback and generally in a situation where there’s no pressure to play.
While there is an argument of how much Jay Cutler is good for the Bears and if they should keep him beyond this season, there is no chance he’ll be losing his job unless something quite unpredictable happens in 2013, which would force someone who has been away for the game for so long like Russell a too-early kind of opportunity to start for the team.