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Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Raiders address JaMarcus Russell issue

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Hours after an Oakland Tribune columnist wrote about JaMarcus Russell and the role he thought the Raiders should have played in his life, the team came back with a rebuttal.

In a statement, the Raiders said they tried to help Russell in several areas of his life before he was cut in May. Russell, who Oakland took with the No. 1 overall pick in 2007, was arrested at his Alabama home Monday and was later charged with possession of a controlled substance -- codeine syrup.

Here is the team’s statement:
We did all that we could to intervene and assist with a myriad of issues with JaMarcus Russell. NFL policy restricts our ability to comment publicly at this time,” the statement said. “Therefore, those in the media who declare what the Raiders knew or should have known or what the Raiders did or should have done, are reckless, irresponsible and offensive and do a disservice to all concerned, including the public.

The Raiders were careful not to mention anything specific, but it is clear they want it known they were not wiling participants in any poor decisions Russell may have made. The Raiders have filed a grievance against Russell to get some of the money on his contract back. The gist of the statement will likely be part of the team’s argument against Russell.