JaMarcus Russell Admission of Drug Use Another Chapter in a Sad Story

In the classic 'A Bronx Tale,' Lorenzo (played brilliantly by Robert DeNiro) tells his son Calogero "the saddest thing in life is wasted talent."

Those of us who witnessed the JaMarcus Russell years in Oakland would have to agree.

Russell's recent arrest and admission of abusing codeine is just the latest chapter in a story that has gotten progressively sadder as each season has passed. 

Certainly, Russell had athletic ability. Incredible athletic ability. His arm was among the strongest ever seen.

"Raw talent" was a phrase often used to describe him after he was drafted No. 1 overall out of Louisiana State in 2007.

Russell also had size. Massive size. Listed at 6'6" and 260 pounds after he was drafted, his size stood out, even on a team with a 260-pound kicker.

He missed the Raiders entire training camp as a rookie, holding out because of a contract dispute.

When he finally signed, Russell did not take any snaps until December 2007, when he entered a game vs. the Denver Broncos in relief of starter Josh McCown.

During an interview with ESPN yesterday, Russell admitted that there was an unforeseen convenience in holding out of camp. "because I missed all of training camp, I didn't get tested when the other players got tested," he said.

Heading into the 2008 season, Russell was named the Raiders' starter. During this time, he said the Raiders management asked him about rumors that he was using drugs.

"They said they were gettin' word on the streets about me using drugs. Then one of the doctors came to me," Russell said during the ESPN interview.

He went on to explain that he had a prescription for codeine, but that it was not from the team doctor.

The Raiders had a chaotic and forgettable season in 2008, which saw them finish at 5-11. Russell registered 13 TD and 8 INT with a 77.7 QB rating. Article Source: Bleacher Report - Oakland Raiders