Al Davis

JaMarcus Russell and the Niners

Al Davis is getting ready to cut JaMarcus Russell. Hopefully for JaMarcus, the process won’t involve any overhead projectors.

“JaMikeous, I want to read you a lettah I sent to your residence via Federal Express…”

And even though he’s a fat, lazy sack of shiz, there will be teams interested in poking and prodding the still-young quarterback. The Patriots will probably want to make him a pass catching linebacker, and the Tennessee Titans will offer him a halfback spot on their roster.

Even though it sounds absolutely ridiculous at first, would it really be that out of character for the 49ers to give Russell the second chance he doesn’t deserve?

It’s clear at this point that Mike Singletary loves reclamation projects, especially if the project is a big-name guy. Slapping Vernon Davis in the mouth was the first order of business after Singletary took over for Mike Nolan. Alex Smith had the early line on the starting job from the very beginning of Singletary’s tenure, even though Shaun Hill kept on winning games. Anthony Davis and Navorro Bowman are sketchy character guys, but Singletary didn’t even blink before drafting them a few days ago.

Even more telling was Singletary’s not-quite-denying-interest episode in regards to Michael Vick before last season. Until Jed York came out and released that statement about the Niners having absolutely no interest in the dogfighter, the 49ers were one of the favorites to sign him before the Eagles swooped in.

Don’t for a minute believe that the 49ers aren’t interested in adding quarterbacks. They just don’t want expensive quarterbacks like Donovan McNabb. Sure, last year the Niners were interested in Kurt Warner, but they’ve shown no such willingness to spend money this off-season, in an uncapped year even (which is why cutting Nate Clements would show not that the 49ers are smart, just cheap — you don’t go cutting defensive backs when the depth at that position is the worst on the entire team).

You’d have to imagine Singletary would be tantalized by Russell’s physical tools, and as long as he was able to determine during a face-to-face chat that Russell was motivated to work hard and let Singletary be his minister/mentor, he’d be quite excited to prove that he can maximize talent where others couldn’t.

The sad thing about the 49ers and their future is that whether or not they pick up the husky hurler has nothing to do with their offensive scheme. Because there isn’t any! What type of quarterback thrives in a Jimmy Raye system? Does that quarterback even exist? You have to give Raye and Singletary credit for opening up the offense when their ground game was closed for business, but at the end of the year they were left with an offense without an identity that put together the occasional scoring drive but more often faltered on 3rd down.

Should the 49ers take a look at Russell? Absolutely not, of course. He made the Jeff George Era look like the height of team chemistry in Oakland, and I’m not convinced his weight problems are the symptom of a much greater issue than Russell simply being a guy who really, really likes Bacon Ultimate Cheeseburgers. But with Singletary, the guy you’d certainly name if you played the “one of these things is not like the other” game with all the head coaches in 49ers history (and I’m not talking about race, here), news like “the Niners just signed JaMarcus Russell” is stuff you have to prepare for.

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