AFC North interested in QB Russell?

May, 6, 2010
The Oakland Raiders released embattled quarterback JaMarcus Russell on Thursday. The former No. 1 overall pick almost certainly will get a second chance. Let's explore the AFC North possibilities.

Rule out Cleveland. Despite making a lukewarm signing in veteran starter Jake Delhomme and another lukewarm trade to acquire backup Seneca Wallace, the Browns appear set at quarterback. Third-round pick Colt McCoy is the quarterback of the future in Cleveland; there's no room for a project like Russell.

Scratch the Ravens. They have no issues at quarterback.

Scratch the Steelers. Yes, they need a starting quarterback because of suspension of Ben Roethlisberger. But it's clear that Russell is not an NFL starter. After dealing with so much quarterback drama this offseason with Roethlisberger, there's no way Russell would appease Pittsburgh and its large and rabid fan base.

That leaves Cincinnati, which may be the only shot Russell has in this division. The Bengals need a backup behind starter Carson Palmer, and everyone knows owner Mike Brown is famous (infamous?) for taking on reclamation projects, especially if it comes at pennies on the dollar. If Russell, who already made a lot of money in Oakland, is willing to accept a dirt-cheap deal, there could be a chance in Cincinnati. With the potential signing of controversial free-agent cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones, you can't put anything past the Bengals at this point.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter



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