Three years ago, JaMarcus Russell was the No. 1 overall pick. Today, jobless, he is considered one of the biggest busts in NFL history.
But JaMarcus Russell is more than that. He is also a big, fat punchline. So let's take look back at this three-year NFL career. In pictures.
According to sources close to NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens, the six-time Pro Bowler has been unable to stop laughing over reports that former Eagles teammate Donovan McNabb may soon be dealt to the Oakland Raiders.
The laughter has gone on for so long now that Owens' friends are starting to worry about his health.
"He hasn't eaten anything for 24 hours," said Owens' assistant, Tony Mivens. "He hasn't had anything to drink. It's not healthy. He's tried to drink water, but every time he takes a swig, something about McNabb going to the Raiders scrolls across the screen and he does a spit take and starts rolling around on the floor laughing again."
Those who have seen the receiver in the past day say he looks skinny and weak, but incredibly happy.
While Owens was forced to toil for the Buffalo Bills last year, the prospect of his Eagles nemesis having to close his career on the most comically inept franchise in the NFL perhaps in all of sport has brought delight to an offseason in which Owens, too, looks for a new employer.
"Terrell definitely wants to play next year," said his agent, Drew Rosenhaus. "And we have plenty of suitors. But right now he is weighing his options. He is seriously considering taking a year off so he can put his full attention into watching Donovan McNabb play for the Raiders. He has even said he may buy tickets for all of their home and away games and be a sort of failure roadie."
Rosenhaus says he hasn't had the heart to inform Owens of the one team who has shown serious interest in his services for 2010.
"It's the Raiders. I can't tell him. He's obviously very emotional right now," said Rosenhaus. "If that's our only option, that's our only option. Maybe I can sell it to him as an opportunity to sabotage McNabb one more time. He may even play for the league minimum for that chance."
Did you see how fast that thing could fly? And it wasn't even going full speed. Sure, I don't think it can catch as it doesn't have any hands. But that speed.
Al Davis is going to offer it a big-time contract. I guarantee it.
Here, pigeon, pigeon, pigeon
A terrified Darren Sproles stopped to catch his breath in the deep, safe grass of the Oakland Coliseum outfield last night after scurrying across the dirt infield for a 20-yard gain against the Raiders. After the brief stop, the miniature Chargers back checked to see that the coast was clear and then pushed his way through the dense field before emerging in the end zone.
"I saw him shoot out across the dirt," said Raiders defensive lineman Richard Seymour. "I almost stomped him with my foot, and thenNnamdi Asomugha almost hit with a broom. But he was too fast. Too shifty."
And then once he made it to the grass, Sproles was out of sight.
"I didn't even bother looking for him," said Seymour. "That's why we set Sproles traps out there. Apparently we need to set more because he's still loose."
Once Sproles made it through the end zone, he climbed up the goal post to the crossbar and waved his arms to show that he had scored. But the trek had taken so long, play had continued on without him.
"We thought he had gone to his nest or something," said head referee Jeff Trimble. "Play had to continue. He was gone for minutes. Plus, it's not fair for him to carry a tiny football, too. I know he has his handicap and the NFL tries to be sensitive to that, but that makes him impossible to see."
Sproles says he would have to retire if he is forced to use a regulation-size football.
"I would be crushed," he said. "And I may be small, but you might be surprised at the amount of blood inside me. I'm like a small mosquito."
Our reporter spent the day at Oakland Raiders training camp in Napa Valley, Calif. Here are his notes.
> Quarterback JaMarcus Russell, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft, appears to be turning the corner. (There is a Krispy Kreme around the corner from Oakland's training facility.)
> With unemployment near 10-percent nationally, the Raiders fanbase is expected to be more rabid than ever.
> The autumn wind may be a Raider, but the summer wind is definitely a Raider: weak, tepid, somewhat pointless.
> Raiders head coach Tom Cable said that, despite reports, he did not punch assistant coach Randy "Donny" Hanson. However, the two obviously had a strained relationship for quite some time.
> Owner Al Davis said he does not have a problem with his coaches getting in heated arguments. However, he has stated that immediate dismissal will result for anyone who punches a team employee with lady glasses.
> The Raiders were criticized for reaching on first round draft pick Darrius Heyward-Bey, and even more so for their second round pick of Michael Mitchell out of Ohio. And then they were criticized again for Heyward-Bey's massive contract. But Raiders management is adamant that you don't just win more than five games a season by making smart personnel moves, you have to gamble.