According to an ESPN report, JaMarcus Russell told people while working out for the Bears last week that the Ravens would be working him out as well. The Ravens have not confirmed that. Perhaps Russell is just hopeful that the Ravens will give him a chance.
While Russell was a colossal bust as the No. 1 overall pick in 2007, exploring the possibility that Russell could still be an NFL backup would not do the Ravens any harm. They have been fortunate that Joe Flacco has started every game during his five-year career. Behind Flacco are two unproven backups, Tyrod Taylor and Caleb Hanie. If something happened to Flacco, causing him to miss even a game or two, there is no guarantee the Ravens could win with either Taylor or Hanie. And if the Ravens cannot win without Flacco, even a short-term injury could cost them a playoff spot.
Russell has reportedly lost around 50 pounds, and he never suffered a serious injury during his time with the Raiders. He lacked motivation and maturity, but he did not lack talent. His arm was one of the strongest in the NFL. He is still only 27 years old.
Only Russell knows how committed he is to resurrecting his career. But with Flacco firmly entrenched as their franchise quarterback, the Ravens can afford to shop around for a new backup. As a starter, Russell was a bust. But as somebody’s backup, maybe Russell could be a bargain.