JaMarcus Russell: I’m Not Lazy, Fat Or A Junkie

Source: Bailey Johnson / CBS News

JaMarcus Russell, the one-time Raider, now a free agent reportedly trying to get back into the league, has had to put up with rumors and detractors for his entire career.

Russell, who hasn’t played a game of professional football in two years, sat down with Sports Illustrated’s L. Jon Wertheim recently to tell his side of the story.

One of the first criticisms of Russell was that he was, for lack of a better word, lazy. The rookie quarterback would allegedly fall asleep in team meetings. Russell’s response:

“In the NFL, my first year, I had to be there at 6:30 before practice and be on the treadmill for an hour,” he says. “Then meetings come, I sit down, eat my fruit. We watch film, and maybe I got tired. Coach Flip [quarterback coach John DeFilippo] pulled me aside and said, ‘What are you doing for night life?’ I said, ‘Coach, I’m just chilling.’ He said, ‘I need to get you checked out.’ I did the sleep test, and they said I had apnea.”

JaMarcus Russell is also not broke, he says. Reports from earlier in the Spring were that Russell’s Oakland mansion was being foreclosed on. Russel claims he sold the house.

 “Football isn’t paying me now,” he says. “You make $1 million a game and you can do whatever. It’s not like that anymore; I need to put myself in a place where those zeroes in the bank last for a long time. But I’m not broke. Far from it.”

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