In a move that's been expected since the end of the season, the Raiders finally cut ties with JaMarcus Russell. My only question is why didn't they do it sooner? Were they expecting another team to come in with some great trade offer similar to what the 49ers got for Shaun Hill? Or maybe they felt Russell screwed them over so badly in his three years that the wanted to return the favor just a little by giving him less time to find another team. For whatever the reason, they obvious question know is if Russell takes over the spot from Ryan Leaf as the biggest draft bust of all time. Russell finished his third year in the NFL and that's exactly the number of years Leaf played, so this is the perfect time to compare what both of them have done:
Ryan Leaf - 25 games, 48.4 comp%, 14 TD's, 36 Int, 50.0 QB Rating
JaMarcus Russell - 31 games, 52.1 comp%, 18 TD's, 23 Int, 65.2 QB Rating
Russell beats Leaf in every single category so it would seem that even as abysmally as Russell has played, Leaf was even worse. In Leaf's defense, he was the second player chosen instead of the top overall player chosen like Russell, and he didn't steal as much money from the Chargers as Russell stole for the Raiders, but even taking that into consideration it appears Leaf is still safe as the biggest bust of all time. But Russell's career still isn't over. And as bad as Leaf was, he at least got better every year. Russell can't say the same. His 11 interceptions, 48.8 completion percentage, and 50.0 QB rating were worse than the numbers he put up in his previous two seasons. So it is possible, if a team is desperate enough to give him a chance as their starting QB, that his career numbers could end up being worse than Leaf's. But I wouldn't bank on any team being that stupid. Unless Al Davis suddenly changes his mind an resigns him. OK, I guess their is still a little hope for Leaf.
What were they thinking?
Lawrence Taylor made headlines for paying to have sex with a 16 year old prostitute. The former MVP and 3 time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, admitted to paying $300 for sex with the 16 year old at a Holiday Inn. Come on LT, what were you thinking? A Holiday Inn? Really? You couldn't have paid for a better hotel? Did you at least give her a good tip? LT said her pimp, Rasheed Davis, told him she was 19. The girl had run away from home and Davis found her sitting at a bus stop in the Bronx. Davis told her he could give her a place to stay and a job. He would then arrange appointments for her through text messages. In this meeting, LT was referred to in the text as "Client-1" and the girl was called "Victim-1". I'm not going to judge someone for paying to have sex if the two people are adults and it's consensual, but if I got a text from a pimp, and the name of the person I was about to meet with was called "Victim-1", I might start to have second thoughts. Since the news of the story first broke, NutriSystem Inc has of course dropped LT as one of their spokesman. That's a shame. Those LT and Dan Marino exchanges seemed to natural. Is Warren Sapp looking for a new sponsor?Speaking of prostitution (Nice segue, right?), it has also come out that while NFL hopeful Dez Bryant was being interviewed by teams before the draft, some GM's went way over the line with their questions. One GM in particular, the Miami Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland, asked Bryant if his mom was a prostitute. How do you even ask that question? Do you just come out and say, "Your mom wouldn't happen to be a whore would she?" Bryant said of his experience, "I got mad - really mad - but I didn't show it. I got a lot of questions like that: Does she still do drugs? I sat and answered all of them." Is this for real? I know teams are going to be investing a lot of money in these players, and keeping your job could depend on how well the draft goes, but some things a just off limits. And asking someone if their mom is a junkie and a whore should be one of them. Are they then going to ask the size of the needle she shoots up with and if she's collapsed all the veins in he arms and now has to use the ones between the toes? Unbelievable.
Completely shocking news.
Houston Texans Linebacker and Defensive Rookie of the Year, Brian Cushing, tested positive for steroids back in September. I don't know about everyone else, but this really surprised me. Who knew that the NFL actually tested for steroids? I guess you learn something new every day. Seriously though, I watched "The Playmakers" and if that show is a true depiction of the NFL's substance abuse policy, players know way in advance when the tests are going to come. That gives them plenty of time to cycle off. And if there's a last minute change, just shove some other guys urine into you. I'm not saying everyone in the NFL abuses roids, but I'm sure it's a lot higher the the NFL would like us to believe. Cushing will be suspended for the first 4 games of the 2010 season but he will still be able to practice with the team and play in the preseason. He will also be banned from going to the ProBowl after the season. What I don't get is if the test was done in September, why are the results being made known so long after the fact? I guess you need to give the player time to appeal the result, but that still shouldn't take close to 9 months.
Much ado about nothing
You know it's the slow time of the NFL year when the media hypes up a mostly innocuous comment. Eagles WR DeSean Jackson told The Sporting News that he was "very happy" that the Eagles traded McNabb and then said, "I don't think we lost anything, even with McNabb being gone." McNabb responded, much to the delight of NFL writers, "I'm a Redskin, no longer an Eagle. I had 11 great years and I'm moving on with my life, so whoever may say things when I'm gone, more power to them, but it's not making you look like a bigger man." First off, was Jackson trashing McNabb? Did he say he was a horrible QB? Did he even say they were better off without him? No. He's showing confidence in his new QB Kevin Kolb. He's probably heard the comments from so many of the talking heads out there saying the Eagles are going to struggle to win now that McNabb's gone, and he's simply saying that's not true. What does the media want him to say when they ask him about the departure of McNabb? Do they want him to say McNabb was the glue that held the team together and they're going to have a really hard time winning now that he's gone? Jackson's success is now tied with Kolb's so he's going to say everything possible to pump up his new QB and make him feel like the team's behind him.
McNabb's comments, on the other hand, did come across a little bitter. I've read people saying he responded mildly, but it didn't seem mild to me. He basically called Jackson a little man with issues. If anyone has issues to work out it's McNabb who must still be stinging a little bit after being traded away, and to a division rival no less. I also like how he says he's moved on but then throws in the back handed insult at the end. But when it's all said and done, this is a perfect example of a media created story. Maybe they should just focus on trying to milk that Big Ben story a little more.