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Thursday, April 14, 2011
Report: Russell saga takes another turn

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

The woeful JaMarcus Russell tale has reportedly taken another pitiful turn.

The man in charge of keeping Russell from bottoming out has apparently given up on saving the NFL career of one of the biggest all-time draft busts.

Yahoo! Sports reports that former NBA star turned “life coach” John Lucas has parted ways with Russell. The report said Lucas grew tired of Russell’s poor work ethic. Lucas and Russell joined forced to re-invent Russell’s career after Oakland cut Russell last May when he was just 24. Oakland made Russell the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2007.

The report said Russell, who was notorious for being out of shape while in Oakland, weighed 292 pounds during a workout with Miami in November.

Russell has had no interest from NFL teams since that workout and a report like this won’t create interest. Last year, Russell spurned interest from Omaha of the UFL because he wanted to concentrate on playing in the NFL. Now, turning to the UFL may be Russell’s only chance of getting back on the field if he even wants to try to play again.

This is another reminder to Oakland that it did the right thing by giving up on the lackadaisical Russell when it did.