By Steve Corkran
Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 at 7:54 pm in Oakland Raiders.
The Cincinnati Bengals long have been a haven for misfits, players of questionable character and those who run afoul of the law. So, perhaps it should come as no surprise that the Bengals have been linked to Raiders cast-off quarterback JaMarcus Russell.
We must caution you that the source of this information is, um, a tad shaky and questionable. The news comes from Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, the player who doesn’t even realize that his changed last name means “eight five” and not eighty five, his jersey number.
“Jamarcus Russel, you on twitter, if not its cool ill see you in #minicamp , ooopsss, did I just leak that info #ocnn,” Ochocinco tweeted, twittered or something along those social networking lines.
Translation: “JaMarcus Russell, you on Twitter? If not, it’s cool. I’ll see you in mini camp. Oops, did I just leak that info?”
Yes, Chad, you did. You just promoted your self-named Ochocinco News Network by telling people that the Bengals are bringing in Russell for a tryout or that they signed him before your team’s mini camp. Not sure if Bengals coach Marvin Lewis knows about this or not.
We’ll take Ochocinco’s word for it and operate under the assumption that the Bengals are the first team to step forward and say, “Sure, we’ll take a look at the player you paid $39 million and used the No. 1 pick in the 2007 NFL draft. Why not? it won’t cost us much if it doesn’t work out.”
Russell can be had for as little as $620,000, the minimum base salary for a fourth-year player.
The Raiders gave Russell the starting job in 2008, his first full season, based on his draft status and their sizable investment. Russell won’t be given anything in Cincinnati except a chance to show that he has the desire to make something of his NFL career.
The Bengals are Carson Palmer’s team, which isn’t a bad thing where Russell is concerned because he could learn from a proven player and take the time to change his ways after three seasons of playing overweight, missing meetings, frustrating coaches and offensive coordinators, all under the glaring spotlight that shines on first-round picks.
The Bengals, Russell and Team Russell haven’t confirmed Ochocinco’s breaking news. Until then, people will have plenty of time to compile one liners about Russell and a team that doesn’t discriminate about the track record of the players it signs finally finding each other.