- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Predictably, JaMarcus Russell ruled the AFC West this week.
It ends with his release being voted as the readers' choice for the AFC West story of the week. The other candidates were Denver legend John Elway endorsing the Broncos’ selection of Tim Tebow and Oakland signing veteran backup running back Michael Bennett.
This was no contest. Russell was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft. He is considered perhaps the biggest bust in NFL history. His release is huge news.
Here are some of your responses. Thanks to everyone who participated.
Hesham from San Diego: Bill, the story continues to be the Raiders decision to cut ties with J Russell. Its a huge concession on Al Davis' behalf, and it represents a monumental shift in direction for the franchise. This development has revived and excited fans unlike anything else in a long time. Most fans are realistic in acknowledging that we're not immediately playoff contenders, but we are undeniably better, and at least for a while, not a laughing stock on account of these seemingly savvy business and football decisions.
Gabriel M. from Kansas City, Kan.: It has to be Jamacrus Russel being cut!! Since he's been a rookie all the Raider fans have been making excuses for him! Raiders fans got tired of saying next year he will improve. He is finally an old memory and I am happy not to see him behind the center once the season starts!! Jason Cambell should make a difference immediately! Hopefully the second coming of Rich Gannon.
Lee from Phoenix: As a Broncos fan, I would love to say that Elway endorsing Tebow is the story of the week. But, I guess it's actually Russell getting cut. Elway is the greatest quarterback of all time and it's always nice to hear about him saying good things the team in general. This isn't the first time he's had good things to say about the team though. Maybe it's the most positive endorsement he's ever given a Broncos quarterback though. I think Tebow has the potential to be great. I don't think he will let the doubters stand in his way.
Will Peek from Orlando: Hey Bill, In my opinion the obvious AFC west story of the week has to be Oakland finally cutting JaMarcus Russell. As i said before I am a die hard Oakland Raiders fan.. And this cut removes a huge burden. He was a dead weight that was holding the team back from something bigger and better.. I cant wait to see what J.C (Campbell) can do for us.
Ian John from Pueblo, Colo.: As a Coloradoan I know that John Elway is not God, but he is a demigod of amazing status. We live in a state that annually reported what the man was giving out for Halloween to trick-or-treaters. While his endorsement of Tebow will help the young man tremendously with his fans in state, I don't think that it has any chance of being more important than the cutting of Russell. This is one of the first times that Davis has admitted to making a mistake, that alone seems a sign of the apocolypse. Officially labeling Russell a bust and not just a project is a big step for Oakland's return to dominance. If Tebow is as good as everyone wearing orange says he is than in 5 years this off-season could be the most important one for the AFC West ever. Tebow comes to Denver, Oakland takes positive steps forward, and San Diego drafts a potential gamebreaking RB.
Robert from Clear Lake, Texas: The Russell story was highly anticipated, but certainly wasn't new news. The Russell Death Watch had been manned since Campbell was picked up during the draft.While Tebow might be groomed to become the starter, he certainly won't be -the- Denver QB this season ... much as the rest of the division might like that ... regardless of Elway's endorsement. It's just another "gee, that's interesting" piece.The Raiders released Justin Fargas in March. While Fargas isn't an every down back, he is highly efficient in the short yardage gains for down conversions or TDs. Over the last 4 years, he's averaged roughly 750 yards per season as a specialty or gimmick player. The signing of Michael Bennett, whose numbers aren't remotely equivalent to Fargas' is the bigger ... and stranger ... story. Bennett certainly isn't going to take the place of McFadden or Bush, and isn't the player Fargas is. It's another "what was Al thinking" move!
Joseph Budd from Rapid City, S.D.: Considering that Russell has made headlines all his career for the wrong reasons, now it's time for him to make headlines for a good reason...getting cut. Of course, it begs the question...did he invest the money, or is he going to be poor in three years because he spent his money foolishly?
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