AFC West: Shawn Andrews

The Omaha Nighthawks of the UFL want to help discarded former No. 1 overall pick JaMarcus Russell resurrect his career.

Omaha general manager Rick Mueller and player personnel director Ted Sundquist said Friday that they are pursuing the quarterback, who was cut by Oakland in May after three disastrous seasons. The team put Russell on its protective list almost immediately after he was cut by Oakland, Sundquist said. Omaha’s interest in Russell was initially reported by Profootballtalk.com.

Russell
“We are interested in JaMarcus Russell and we think it would be a good opportunity for him,” Mueller said.

Still, Omaha knows getting Russell to play in the UFL may be a long shot. The team realizes that he still prefers to try to latch on with an NFL team as a backup. Still, Omaha’s pitch to Russell has been that it can help him reach his goal of being a starting NFL quarterback quicker.

“JaMarcus needs to play,” said Sundquist, the former Denver general manager. "We’d give him that opportunity. We don’t want to make JaMarcus a five-time UFL All-Star. We want him to be a quality NFL quarterback. We think we can help him do that by playing in our league. If he was a No. 3 in the NFL, he’d get four reps a day. Here, he would be playing football and that’s what he needs to do.

“It’s no different than a Major League [Baseball] player who struggles. He goes down to Triple-A for a little while and gets a chance to get things together. That’s what we want for JaMarcus.”

Oakland cut Russell after he regressed badly in 2009. Russell was 7-18 as an NFL starter. Russell is currently working out in Arizona with hopes of shedding weight and getting a call from an NFL team this summer. Russell has talked to some NFL teams but there has been no significant interest.

Omaha has been very aggressive in trying to get former NFL players to sign with the team. The Nighthawks have already inked running back Ahman Green. Other players they are pursuing include Justin Fargas, LaMont Jordan, Shawn Andrews, Charles Grant and Cato June.
The Eagles cut former Pro Bowl guard Shawn Andrews. Denver could use a guard. But Andrews would be risky. He has played just two games the past two years due to depression and back issues.

  • If San Diego is still looking for veteran backup help at cornerback it could turn to Nathan Vasher, who was just cut by the Bears. He played for San Diego defensive coordinator Ron Rivera in Chicago.
  • The Chargers have other needs, but after trading Charlie Whitehurst and after Tim Tebow’s good performance at his pro day, maybe they will be interested in making Tebow their No. 3 quarterback if he’s available in the third round. It’s a long shot, but there is now an opening.
  • Running back Justin Fargas visited the Saints. He was recently cut by Oakland.

Looking back at No. 16

April, 21, 2009
4/21/09
3:00
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Next up on the AFC West draft rewind is No. 16, which is held by San Diego:

The No. 16 Pick Since 1999
Year Team Player Pos. School Comment
2008 Arizona Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie CB Tenn. State He looks like he is on his way to having a decent career.
2007 Green Bay Justin Harrell DT Tennessee He has been injury plagued in Green Bay.
2006 Miami Jason Allen DB Tennessee He still has a chance to be a solid NFL player.
2005 Houston Travis Johnson DT Florida State Johnson has been a solid player for the Texans.
2004 Philadelphia Shawn Andrews OT Arkansas Andrews is a solid NFL player.
2003 Pittsburgh Troy Polamalu S USC Polamalu is the heart and soul of one of the best defenses in the NFL.
2002 Cleveland William Green RB Boston College Green was injured and a fast bust.
2001 New York Jets Santana Moss WR Miami Moss has been a decent NFL player.
2000 San Francisco Julian Peterson LB Michigan State Peterson has carved out a very nice career for himself.
1999 Tennessee Jevon Kearse DE Florida Kearse is one of the great all-time players in Titans' history.

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