Report: Russell says he'll try out for Ravens

June, 10, 2013
6/10/13
2:33
PM ET
JaMarcus Russell, the No. 1 overall pick in 2007 who hasn't thrown a pass in an NFL game in four years, is looking to catch on with the Super Bowl champions.

Russell
Russell told people while working out for the Chicago Bears late last week that he has a tryout upcoming with the Baltimore Ravens, a league source told ESPN's Ed Werder.

While I'm n0t endorsing the Ravens signing Russell, I can't say this development surprises me. The Ravens don't have established backups behind quarterback Joe Flacco. Tyrod Taylor has completed 18 passes in two NFL seasons, and Caleb Hanie has four career starts in five NFL seasons.

And the Ravens were impressed with Russell when he was coming out of LSU in 2007.

“We did a pretty decent job, and obviously they continue to do a phenomenal job in Baltimore, with [general manager] Ozzie Newsome and his group,” former Ravens coach Brian Billick said last year. “JaMarcus Russell was the highest-rated player I’ve ever seen on any of our boards."

Russell has worked hard on his conditioning, losing nearly 50 pounds. But he reportedly hasn't lost any arm strength.

“We’ve worked with over a dozen NFL quarterbacks, and the strongest arm I’ve ever seen is Joe Flacco’s,” Brian Martin, founder of the TEST Football Academy, told Fox Sports. “JaMarcus’ arm right now is as strong and as accurate as Joe’s.”

It remains to be seen whether Russell will back up Flacco.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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