Former No. 1 overall pick JaMarcus Russell will be among a quartet of free agent quarterbacks who will work out for the Chicago Bears on Friday, reports Michael C. Wright of ESPN Chicago.
Wright is quick to point out that the Bears are planning to conduct workouts for players at several positions, which teams normally do to prepare their "emergency list" when injuries occur. Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune reports that Trent Edwards and Jordan Palmer will join Russell for Friday's workout.
Last week, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that Russell had slimmed down with the hopes of attracting interest from an NFL team. Russell's weight had ballooned to over 300 pounds, but he dropped 50 pounds and recently weighed in at 265 pounds, the exact same weight he had at the 2007 scouting combine.
Selected by the Oakland Raiders with the top pick in the 2007 NFL draft, Russell missed training camp and the start of the regular season as he did not sign his six-year deal worth up to $68 million with over $31 million in guaranteed money until mid-September. In three seasons with the Raiders, Russell completed 52.1 percent of his 680 pass attempts for 4,083 yards with 18 touchdowns and 23 interceptions. Russell was also sacked 70 times and lost 15 of 25 fumbles before the Raiders released him in May of 2010, two months before he was arrested in his Mobile, Alabama home for possession of codeine syrup without a prescription.
A grand jury declined to indict Russell on those charges, but the former LSU standout has been out of football ever since. The 27-year-old Russell has been working with former NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia at TEST Academy in San Diego, California.
The top of the Bears' quarterback depth chart is set with Jay Cutler as the starter and veteran Josh McCown as the veteran back-up, but the team is only carrying three quarterbacks on the 90-man roster and could bring in an additional arm for training camp. The current No. 3 is Matt Blanchard, a 2012 undrafted rookie from Wisconsin-Whitewater who had a 47.4 passer rating in two preseason games before spending most of the 2012 season on the Bears' practice squad.