It may be one year too soon to open the time capsule, but perhaps it's been long enough to conclude that my "JaMarcus Russell The Star" outlook three years ago doesn't look so good today. The only facts that turned out kosher were that he and Darren McFadden became members of the Oakland Raiders.
Other than that … yeah, not so much.
In three years, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft has thrown only 18 touchdowns, one fewer than Tyler Thigpen who was taken 217th overall that same year. That's about where the similarities end. See, Thigpen still has employment, while Russell is the one without a team. You can thank the Jason Campbell trade for making this possible.
That's a rough way to go, but from everything I've read, it's a fate of Russell's own volition. While his player card reads 6'6" and 260 pounds, a rumor was circulated that he was pushing three bills. So if nothing else, he may sign with another team soon, because you can never have enough offensive linemen.
In fact … hey, that's quite a career decision he might want to consider. With the advent of all these gadget formations and trick plays, I'm sure a coach out there would love to try the tackle-eligible endaround pass. Nobody would see it coming.
You hate to give up on a guy who's only going to be 25 this season. If one subscribes to the notion that he's not naturally bad and that he just didn't give a shit for three years, then he definitely has the capacity to be a good quarterback someday. But he'll have to work at it for the league minimum.
No, he may never be a "star." Neither were Tim Couch or David Carr, but at least they both had respectable seasons. Couch took the Cleveland Browns to the playoffs one year, and Carr once led the league in completion percentage. Sure, they're not exactly golden bars of achievement, but it's something to shoot for when one's 300-pound frame was just sacked by reality.