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Could Russell actually become Saint JaMarcus?

The Saints are in need of a back-up QB. JaMarcus Russell was a star at LSU and is still a popular folk hero of sorts in the Deep South where he was recently crowned King Alexis. With Russell's surprising performance on the first day of mini-camp, perhaps his value is being reassessed in New Orleans.

So who might the Saints turn to? With management maintaining a silent front on the question, speculation is rife. Names that might have been attractive, such as the Dolphins' Chad Pennington, for example, re-signed with their team and aren't available. Is the dearth of possibilities so pronounced that even former LSU star JaMarcus Russell could wind up in New Orleans should the Oakland Raiders cut ties with him, as many experts predict?

It seems unlikely a noted quarterback guru like Payton would have any interest in a signal-caller with Russell's weight problems, questionable work habits and a career rating of 65.2. And in any event, despite all the assertions Russell would be sent packing in Oakland, he reported to the team's mandatory offseason minicamp Friday and was still with the Raiders.

But Russell's career rating is actually higher than that of Derek Anderson, and when he became a free agent this offseason, the Arizona Cardinals promptly signed him to a 2-year deal.

By James Varney, The Times-Picayune

May 03, 2010, 7:06AM