A final chance for Russell?

April, 9, 2010
4/09/10
3:30
PM ET
Thomas George of NFL Fanhouse reports the Raiders are ready to give JaMarcus Russell one more chance to be the starting quarterback after the team was unable to land Donovan McNabb.

George quoted an unnamed Oakland executive who said Russell will be given a last chance.

That all sounds fine. But I think we all know Russell will be on a short leash. Last month at the NFL owners meetings, Oakland coach Tom Cable said it will be an open competition between Russell and Bruce Gradkowski, who replaced Russell last November.

Oakland’s offense was much better with Gradkowski than Russell. I understand why Oakland wants to give Russell a last chance. He was the No. 1 overall pick in 2007 and the team has invested millions in him.

But if Russell struggles in camp, Oakland can’t hesitate. It has to go to Gradkowski. The Raiders can’t afford to jeopardize another season by wasting time on Russell if he’s not ready to produce like a quality starting quarterback.

I think they will go with Gradkowski in the end because the team will remember the boost he gave the team last year.

Then, again, there is the possibility of Oakland bringing in a new quarterback. They wanted McNabb and it has been reported the team is interested in Washington’s Jason Campbell. The Raiders could also draft quarterback. There are plenty of options here and starting Russell is just one of them.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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