JaMarcus Russell's last pass for the Oakland Raiders came on Jan. 3, 2010.
Russell has not played in the NFL since then, but he's still making enough money from the Raiders to send a graduating high school class through college. When Russell's place among the all-time busts is discussed, just remember that he was paid $3 million by the Raiders three-and-a-half years after he last played a down for them.
And you wonder why the NFL changed the rookie salary structure.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the team and Russell settled a dispute over the remaining guaranteed money left on his contract, and the team paid the former No. 1 pick another $3 million to finally wash its hands of him. Russell had been paid $36.4 million when he was released. He threw 18 touchdown passes and 23 interceptions for the Raiders.
Russell, who has slimmed down in hopes of making a comeback, still had more money owed to him at the time of his release. The Raiders filed a grievance, asking for $9.55 million repayment in salary advances. Russell filed a counter grievance asking for $9 million. It's safe to say the Raiders lost that one.
The final Russell payment is also a reminder of what Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie was up against when he took the job. Oakland has an astounding $49.6 million in dead money on its cap this season for players no longer on the roster. Perhaps the final payment to Russell will be the ceremonial sign of the franchise being completely removed from the ghosts of bad contracts past.
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