Russell released on $2,500 bond
MOBILE, Ala. -- Former Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell has been charged with possession of a controlled substance -- codeine syrup -- after being arrested at his home in Alabama on Monday, authorities said.
The 24-year-old former LSU star and the No. 1 draft choice in 2007 was arrested as part of an undercover narcotics investigation, said Mobile County Sheriff's spokeswoman Lori Myles. She would not say what led to his arrest. She said he did not have a prescription for the codeine.
Myles told reporters that several people were in Russell's home at the time of his arrest but Russell was the only person taken into custody.
Russell has a bond hearing scheduled for Wednesday and is due back in court on July 20.
"We understand that typically sometime this codeine syrup is mixed with a beverage, like Sprite, and they call it sip-sip," Myles told WALA-TV in Mobile.
Russell, who graduated from high school in Mobile, was booked into the city jail and released soon afterward on $2,500 bond, online records show.
"It's a felony, it's my understanding it's his first. He could be probation, or it could be drug court. Whatever the court decides," Myles told WALA-TV.
The Raiders in May released Russell, considered one of the NFL's biggest draft busts, after he won only seven of his 25 starts and was benched.
He 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.
Oakland paid Russell about $36.4 million through the 2009 season. Since the start of the common draft in 1967, only one other No. 1 pick was released this quickly in his NFL career. Indianapolis cut 1992 top pick Steve Emtman after three seasons, but that was more because of injuries than production.
Last month, sources told ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini that the New York Jets had checked on Russell and had cursory interest.
However, a source told the New York Daily News that the Jets now have no interest in Russell.
Russell and his agent did not immediately return calls for comment.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.