Sources: Russell release imminent

Updated: April 28, 2010, 11:46 AM ET
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

The Oakland Raiders are preparing to release quarterback JaMarcus Russell but have to await the final word from owner Al Davis before they can do so, according to sources.

Russell is on the books for $9.45 million this season, including $3 million in guaranteed money. Since trading for former Washington Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell on Saturday, the Raiders have studied Russell's contract and tried to figure out ways to release him to save the organization some money.

Russell JaMarcus Russell has been paid more than $5 million per win, more than $2 million per touchdown pass and more than $100,000 per completion.

If he gets the $3 million (and sources expect that he will), Russell will have been paid $39 million since going to the team as a first-round pick in 2007.

The Raiders showed their confidence in Campbell by extending his contract through 2011, giving him a $4.5 million deal that season on top of the $3.14 million he is owed this season.

The Raiders have a minicamp Friday and it's possible Russell could be released before then. If Davis doesn't give the go-ahead to release him before Friday, Russell might attend the minicamp, but the team might not let him practice, fearing that he would suffer an injury and leave the team liable for the entire $9.45 million in salary.

Russell, who will turn 25 in August, has won only seven of his 25 starts as the Raiders extended an NFL-worst streak to seven straight seasons with at least 11 losses in 2009. He has completed just 52.1 percent of his passes in his career with 18 touchdowns, 23 interceptions, 15 lost fumbles and a passer rating of 65.2.

That means Russell has been paid more than $5 million per win, more than $2 million per touchdown pass and more than $100,000 per completion.

Russell's tenure in Oakland got off to a rough start and never got much better. He held out in his first season, and did not sign a contract until after the first game of the regular season. That made his rookie season almost a complete loss, as he started only one game.

He showed some signs of progress in his second season, especially in winning the final two games of the year against Houston and Tampa Bay.

But the problems with his work ethic and weight never disappeared, and his third season was an utter disaster. He was fined for being overweight when he showed up at training camp. He then put together one of the worst seasons in recent memory for an NFL quarterback. He completed 48.8 percent of his passes, with three touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a 50.0 passer rating that was the lowest since Ryan Leaf, Bobby Hoying and Craig Whelihan all finished below 50 in 1998.

John Clayton is a senior writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

John Clayton

NFL senior writer

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