Former Oakland Raider QB JaMarcus Russell, despite not actually being under any contract, is currently ahead of Tim Tebow on the New York Jets QB depth chart, sources reported Thursday.
“Normally, it’s against my policy to comment on the starting order of players who don’t, technically, play for our team,” said Jets head coach Rex Ryan. “But yes, I can confirm that I’ve spoken to Tim, and explained to him that he’s now ‘running with the fourth string,’ as they say. Or,you know, he would be if we were we having practice this week. Mark Sanchez remains with the 1′s. At least he would if he hadn’t already left for the offseason. Greg McElroy’s at #2, which I will tell him when he reports to minicamp in May. And JaMarcus is at #3 with a chance to move up to #2 if he impresses me in practice, and also if he ever actually signs a contract.”
“Tim took the news very well, and handled it like a true professional,” continued Ryan. “Honestly, I think he was more confused than anything else.”
The New York Jets current roster. Not pictured: Pro-Bowlers.
Russell, the number one overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, was seen as a bust during his time with the Raiders, and his inability to master the speed of the pro game, coupled with his poor conditioning issues, led to his release in 2010. Since that time, he has been arrested for codeine syrup possession and has seen his weight balloon to over three hundred pounds. Yet the Jets have reportedly expressed interest in the former LSU signal caller, and that interest alone was enough to immediately propel Russell ahead of Tebow in the team’s pecking order.
“Truth is, we haven’t actually talked to JaMarcus yet,” Ryan concluded. “He’s not an easy guy to find. The last known phone number we have for him is disconnected, and there’s no current address on file for him anywhere. I talked to this one guy who knows a dude who says that JaMarcus is living out of his car somewhere in South Carolina. So we’ll keep looking for him. I think he’ll be very happy to hear that he’s moved past Tim on our depth chart. Oh, and also, does anyone have Larry Johnson’s number? I need to tell him that he’s penciled in as our starter for week one next season.”