JaMarcus Russell and Codeine: Elixir of the God-Awful

Former Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell was arrested on Monday in Mobile, Alabama and charged with possession of codeine syrup. Is Russell’s attempt at criminal behavior as weak as his attempt at NFL stardom, and does his arrest signify the next step in the downfall of the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft?

Let’s be careful not to judge Russell too quickly, for it is entirely possible and likely that, given his relatively clean background, and millions of dollars at the ready for legal advice, Russell will make a plea and avoid a criminal charge. If that happens, then it will be official: JaMarcus Russell commits crimes like he plays football—without “conviction.”

Russell was nabbed on July 5 at his home in Alabama, arrested for possession of a controlled substance. His arrest resulted from a two-month undercover operation in Mobile, as, once again, Russell fell victim to his inability to recognize “coverage.”

Russell was booked and released on $2,500 bond, petty cash when you consider that he was paid over $30 million by the Raiders. And, in what had to be an embarrassing development, a bloated and out-of-shape Russell wasn’t even able to be released on his own recognizance.

Russell should be ashamed of his actions. Not because possession of codeine syrup is a serious offense, but because possession of codeine syrup is not a serious offense. Yes, his arrest is disappointing, all right. But not disappointing because he did it, but disappointing because that’s all he did.

Codeine possession is a serious offense, you say? Then why did Eric Clapton sing about “Cocaine” and not “Codeine?” Heck, why did Clapton do cocaine and not codeine?

If codeine is such a big deal, then why didn’t Nate Newton traffic it?

Codeine is nothing more than glorified cough syrup, and can easily be obtained o...

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