The substance? Codeine syrup, according to Daniela Werner of al.com.
[Photos: JaMarcus Russell arrested]
Codeine syrup, also known as purple drank, lean or sizzurp, typically contains codeine and promethazine, ingredients found in prescription cough syrup. ESPN's "Outside the Lines" just did a feature on the beverage. It's said to make those who abuse it feel drowsy, weak and in an "altered level of consciousness."
Perhaps not coincidentally, the Oakland Raiders released Russell because he always played as if he was drowsy, weak and in a state of altered consciousness.
Here's more on the arrest from al.com:
Myles said Russell was arrested at his home early this afternoon during an undercover investigation. He was booked into Mobile Metro Jail at 4:22 p.m. Russell was released minutes later after making $2,500 bail, according to online records.
Russell is scheduled to appear in court on July 20. A bond hearing is set for July 7.
As mentioned previously, Russell is considered one of the biggest draft busts of all time, perhaps even the only legitimate challenger to Ryan Leaf's crown as biggest bust ever. Back in April, I wrote that despite Russell's serious charge, Leaf was still the champ.
Even while he's not employed by an NFL team, he's still making a run at Leaf. Everyone needs a goal, I guess.
As a free agent, Russell was looking to sign a contract with an NFL team sometime soon, and odds are, he would have, sometime before training camp. With this, though? It seems like a big risk for a team to take, even at a minimum salary. I wouldn't go so far as to say that this is a career-ender, but anyone who was even thinking about signing Russell probably just put that idea on the backburner.
The optimistic view to take is that in the long run, maybe an arrest is the best thing for JaMarcus. Maybe it's what he needed to wake himself up and get back on a positive track. I have no idea if his alleged sizzurp use was a one-time thing or a long-time habit, but if this gets him to think seriously about his career, then maybe it can turn into a positive. Time will tell.