The post-college life of JaMarcus Russell hasn’t gone as well as he’d hoped.
The first overall pick by the Oakland Raiders in the 2007 National Football League Draft, Russell has gone on to be one of the bigger busts in recent NFL history. Off the field, things haven’t gone so well, either.
Russell recently paid back $223,180 in overdue property taxes to the State of California, according to the CBS Sports story. But Russell still owes money on his $2.4 million home in Oakland that is set to go to foreclosure auction in September.
Mind you, Russell had a $61 million contract with the Raiders, with $32 million guaranteed.
The 26-year-old quarterback starred at Louisiana State University before joining the NFL. He went 7-18 as a starter in three years with Oakland before being released on May 6, 2010. He hasn’t been picked up by any team since then.
Russell was a star high school athlete in Alabama before going to LSU, where he became one of the best quarterbacks in the country. Because of his superior size and arm strength, he was seen as an solid pick at No. 1 by the Raiders. After holding out in a contract dispute, he played sparingly as a rookie before becoming the starter in his second season. But the next season he dropped to No. 3 on the depth chart and had statistically the worst season of any quarterback in the league.
He also saw his weight balloon to a ridiculous 290 pounds, great for a lineman, not so great for a quarterback, and eventually he was reported to be over 300 pounds. That was enough for the Raiders to release him.
Russell has had a couple tryouts with teams since then, but hasn’t been picked up as his weight and work ethic continues to be an issue. He also got into trouble in July of 2010 for possessing codeine syrup without a prescription.
It hasn’t been all bad for Russell, though. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Russell housed about a dozen evacuees in his off-campus apartment, including music great Fats Domino.