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Could Al Still Sign JaMarcus Russell At A Reduced Price?

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 03:  JaMarcus Russell #2 of the Oakland Raiders walks off the field against the Baltimore Ravens during an NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on January 3, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
jeremy barilCorrespondent IMay 6, 2010

The more I read about the recent release of JaMarcus Russell, I'm curious to see if it was truly a cost-saving move compared to a hope-he-improves at a reduced cost move. Seriously, once Russell hits the open market and realizes no one is going to pay him more than the veteran minimum he could crawl back to Al with a contract already set in place. 

It's apparent Russell wasn't going to take a pay cut as he believed his worth to the team and as a QB was equal to the $6 million he was going to make on top of the already guaranteed $3 million. For all we know Al is still in love with Russell and wanted to bring him back at a significantly reduced salary for which Russell balked at and then was cut. 

I as well as many other Raiders fan are happy to see Russell leave the franchise, but if Al Davis could sign him to an incentive-laden contract that would recoup the $6 million provided he starts, and makes benchmarks for being at/under a certain weight, TD's to INT's, etc it's possible he could change. If he doesn't start he doesn't get the money and comes at a much cheaper price to Oakland. If he actually gives it his all then both Russell and Oakland would win. 

The biggest question is could Russell still be a distraction at a reduced price?

I'm happy to see him go at this point because I believe he has worn out his welcome and he's become a major distraction to the team. If he takes a major pay cut but with a salary above what any team would offer him, would he come back?

I believe Al Davis still might have plans to bring Russell back at a discount, an Al Davis eat crow discount. 

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