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Raiders say they tried to help QB Russell before release

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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The Oakland Raiders say they did all they could to help quarterback JaMarcus Russell before releasing him two months ago.

The Raiders issued a statement on Wednesday, two days after Russell was charged with possession of a controlled substance -- codeine syrup -- after being arrested at his home in Mobile, Ala.

"We did all that we could to intervene and assist with a myriad of issues with JaMarcus Russell," the Raiders said in the statement. "NFL policy restricts our ability to comment publicly at this time. Therefore, those in the media who declare what the Raiders knew or should have known or what the Raiders did or should have done, are reckless, irresponsible and offensive and do a disservice to all concerned, including the public."

Russell was arrested Monday as part of an undercover narcotics investigation. Police say he did not have a prescription for the codeine.

Mobile County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Lori Myles said the investigation wasn't targeting the former Oakland Raiders quarterback, but his name and home address came up several times. Myles said the investigation could ultimately end in more arrests.

Myles said Tuesday that forensic tests to determine the amount of codeine syrup involved sometimes take 5 to 7 days. She added that police wouldn't reveal whether they believe Russell 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 has a bond hearing scheduled for Wednesday, and he's set to appear in court July 20.

Russell didn't return a call from The Associated Press on Tuesday. A business partner of Russell's agent said they had no comment.

Monday's arrest is the latest setback for Russell, a former No. 1 overall pick released by the Raiders on May 6. The incident 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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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