The Oakland Raiders were spanked by the Denver Broncos at home yesterday, 23-3. Just to run this by you again: A Kyle Orton-led team slapped around a team with a former No. 1 overall draft pick as its quarterback. To quote Vince Lombardi (as I often do), “What the hell is going on around here?”
What’s going on is that JaMarcus Russell has not improved since entering the NFL. The rocket-armed 24-year-old showed his flaws again on Sunday, garnering a hefty negative reaction from Oakland’s booing section. A chant of “Russell Sucks, Russell Sucks” echoed throughout Network Associates Coliseum, as the quarterback managed just one yard passing in the second half against Denver.
Through three weeks, Russell’s numbers are staggeringly horrific. Through three weeks he’s completed 31-of-75 passes (41.3 completion percentage), for 378 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions. His 39.8 quarterback rating ranks dead last in the NFL.
The question is, will the Raiders give up on Russell if he doesn’t improve this season?
Clearly Oakland could be headed for another miserable season. They’ll likely have a very high draft position. With several high-profile quarterbacks likely to be available in April’s draft and no first round pick in 2011 (thanks to the Richard Seymour trade) the Raiders will have a decision to make.
After being drafted, Russell held out into his rookie season, finally signing a six-year, $68 million contract ($31.5 million guaranteed). The Raiders still owe JaMarcus a ton of dough. Should Oakland get locked in to another ridiculous contract to a rookie quarterback or should they try and snag a veteran and attempt to plug another hole through the draft?
With the way Al Davis runs his franchise, you never know what that old bastard will do. If we had to guess, we’d say the Raiders would jump on a quarterback in 2010, just because that’s something they’d do.