JaMarcus Russell Is Reportedly (Relatively) Svelte, and the NFL May Be Interested
As the trail of the NFL offseason winds through Organized Team Activities and training camp draws closer and closer, I am getting more and more nervous about my NFL quarterback-related bet that I have with my co-host John Granato.
To refresh you memory, the bet goes like this:
True or false: Out of these three quarterbacks -- Tim Tebow, Vince Young and JaMarcus Russell -- none of them will even set foot in an NFL training camp and so much as put on a uniform for one practice this summer.
Granato has "True." I have "False."
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When we last assessed the odds on this bet, I had them pegged as follows:
Sean -140 Granato +120
My reasoning behind my still being the favorite to win our wager largely centered around my disbelief that the NFL preseason would ensue Tebow-less. I thought that if a team weren't picking him to
suck at play quarterback, then perhaps Tebow would finally have the long-awaited epiphany that he is more cut out to be a fullback or an H-back or really any back other than "quarter-."
Tebow was my meal ticket back in March.
As for the other two principals embedded in the bet, back in March, Vince was sort of hanging around as he was rumored at the time to be part of UT's Pro Day, and JaMarcus...well, let's just say he was the longest shot on the board of the three. In fact, it was his morbid obesity in a workout video that prompted that post.
Well, MY, how times can change.
According to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, Russell has lost 50 pounds and is now down to his college playing weight of 265, which is still battleship-type weight for a quarterback, but I think everybody understands that JaMarcus's big-boned-ness means his 265 converts to about 215 for a normal-sized quarterbackish person.
How did JaMarcus get back down to 265 pounds?
Apparently, through crazy methods like eating better (six small meals versus two figurative trips to Golden Corral), drinking about a small lake's worth of water every day, and mixing in exercise and protein shakes.
Basically, he stopped being JaMarcus Russell.
That's a good thing.
According to Rapoport's report (say that ten times fast), there are multiple teams showing "significant" interest in Russell's services and, at the very least, interested in kicking tires on him. Rapoport was not at liberty to say which teams, but he also mentioned that Russell has employed the services of well known and well respected player agent Eugene Parker, signaling perhaps that Russell is more serious about this comeback than his prior footage would suggest. You know, the footage where it looked like someone had screwed JaMarcus Russell's head and right arm to the body of an adult hippo dressed in workout gear.
Rapoport also suggested that Russell is open to going to the Canadian Football League to prove himself, if necessary, a proposition that Parker hopefully shuts down immediately because I don't want to lose my wager to Granato.
So taking Russell's newfound svelteness into account, and combining that with a) little to no interest in the now collegiately graduated Vince Young and b) Tim Tebow's list of supporters seemingly having dwindled down to just Tony Dungy and Chuck Norris, it now appears that JaMarcus Russell represents my best chance at winning this bet.
And if "counting on JaMarcus Russell" isn't the scariest place a bettor can be, you can certainly see that place from there.
Revised wager odds:
Sean +125 Granato -150
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 Yahoo! Sports Radio from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and nationally on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.
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