JaMarcus Russell throws during a workout at Cathedral High School in San Diego in April. The Oakland Raiders made Russell the No. 1 overall pick in 2007. But after three seasons Russell was released. Russell has been working six days a week with former NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia since Feb. 7 looking for another shot at the NFL.(Photo: Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY Sports)
JaMarcus Russell, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft, will work out for the Chicago Bears this week in an attempt to resume his career after a three-year absence, a person informed of the workout told USA TODAY Sports.
The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team hasn't confirmed the workout, said the Baltimore Ravens have also shown a significant amount of interest and could soon work out Russell if he doesn't sign with the Bears as Jay Cutler's backup.
The Bears workout was first reported by ESPNChicago.com.
Before the April draft, Ravens assistant GM Eric DeCosta was optimistic that Russell would get a shot to redeem himself, but he didn't reveal that the Ravens might join the Bears in kicking the tires.
"He'll get another shot," DeCosta said. "The guy throws the ball better than most quarterbacks. He played at a high level in college. Guys have had second shots and really benefited. If he works hard and rededicates himself, his future is very bright."
Russell, who flamed out with the Oakland Raiders from 2007 to 2009, has been trying to shed weight to get down from over 300 pounds to roughly 265.
As reported by USA TODAY Sports in April, Russell has been working out in California with former NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia.
Russell also had personal issues during his time with the Raiders. A few deaths in his family, including that of his uncle, distracted him and affected his play on the field, he's said.
No matter where he lands, Russell will have to restart his NFL career as a backup. Cutler is entering the final year of his contract. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco just signed a new deal worth $20.1 million per season after his Super Bowl-winning season.
By Mike Garafolo