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Ex-Raider Russell arrested, charged with possession of codeine

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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Former Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell has been charged with possession of a controlled substance -- codeine syrup -- after being arrested at his home in Mobile, Ala., on Monday, authorities said.

Mobile County Sheriff's spokeswoman Lori Myles said Russell, 24, was arrested as part of an undercover narcotics investigation, which led to a search warrant for the quarterback's home and eventually his arrest. Myles also said Russell didn't have a prescription for the codeine and that authorities' investigation into the matter is ongoing.

Online records show that Russell, who graduated from high school in Mobile, was booked into the city jail at 4:22 p.m. ET, then released soon afterward on $2,500 bond. The Mobile Press-Register reported that Russell is scheduled for a bond hearing Wednesday and a court hearing July 20.

Myles told the Press-Register she didn't know how much codeine Russell allegedly possessed. Myles added that police wouldn't reveal whether they believe the quarterback was dealing the drug, which can be used to make "purple drank," a concoction made up of codeine syrup, soda and Jolly Rancher candy.

Russell and his agent didn't immediately return calls from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Monday's arrest is the latest setback for Russell following his May 6 release from the Raiders, and it reportedly cost him any chance with one NFL team. The New York Daily News cited a source in saying the Jets are no longer considering a deal with Russell, although NFL.com senior writer Steve Wyche reported last week that the team's interest in the quarterback was minimal.

Russell also has been linked to the Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, and Minnesota Vikings in various reports. However, NFL Network insider Michael Lombardi believes Russell will have to repair his image by playing in the Canadian Football League, where the Hamilton Tiger-Cats own the quarterback's rights.

Russell spent three lackluster seasons with the Raiders after they made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft. He won just seven of his 25 starts and eventually was benched.

Russell completed just 52.1 percent of his passes with the Raiders. He threw for 18 touchdowns with 23 interceptions, and he also had 15 lost fumbles and a 65.2 passer rating.

After releasing Russell, the Raiders filed a grievance seeking to recoup approximately $9.5 million of the $36.4 million that they paid the quarterback since 2007.

Since the start of the common draft in 1967, only one other No. 1 overall pick was released that quickly in his NFL career. The Indianapolis Colts cut 1992 top pick Steve Emtman after three seasons, but that was more because of injuries than production.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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