JaMarcus Russell is no Longer the Raiders Worst-Ever Organizational Decision

For years, the Raiders’ decision to draft JaMarcus Russell was widely considered the worst football decision the organization has ever made. Not only was Russell a bust, but the Raiders also passed on an opportunity to draft one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history.

Pretty rough, right?

Well, the way things are going, the Khalil Mack trade might soon take the honor of the Raiders’ new worst-ever football decision.

The Raiders didn’t get a draft pick from the Mack trade for nearly a year, so let’s start by looking back at the players they signed with the money saved by trading Mack.

Remember, these were Jon Gruden’s words in 2019:

“If we came up with the money to make the (Khalil Mack) contract happen, we wouldn’t have Trent Brown, we wouldn’t have Antonio Brown, Lamarcus Joyner, and Vontaze Burfict, we wouldn’t have Tyrell Williams.”

Tyrell Williams

Unfortunately, Williams couldn’t stay healthy for more than a few weeks at a time… usually not even that. The Raiders’ return on Williams deal was 2 years, 14 games, 651 receiving yards.


Trent Brown

Like JaMarcus, Brown was/is loaded with talent, but he didn’t show it off much with the Raiders. Brown was overweight, didn’t work hard, and wasn’t a good influence on the young players. His signing was a disaster and it led the Raiders to draft Alex Leatherwood earlier than they probably should have.

Lamarcus Joyner

When the Raiders signed Joyner, they thought they had a player who could play two positions. Instead, they got a player who could play no positions. Unlike Williams and Brown, Joyner stayed healthy and was on the field a lot – which came with it’s own unique set of consequences.

Antonio Brown

Where to start?

The presence of AB may have done more damage to the Raiders in three months than Russell did in three years. Now we find out that the Raiders probably would have drafted Terry McLaurin if they hadn’t traded for Brown.

The AB trade alone was nearly as damaging to the Raiders as the Russell pick.

Now for the draft picks…

Josh Jacobs

He’s a good running back, but Jacobs hasn’t been dynamic. He looked like an All Pro runner until an injury ended his rookie year and hasn’t been quite the same since.

Jacobs has one more year left on his rookie contract after this season so his window of opportunity to prove himself is closing quickly.

Damon Arnette

A completely wasted pick in every sense of the term. If GM Mike Mayock isn’t retained at the end of the year, the Arnette pick will go down as the darkest stain on his time with the Raiders.

Maybe he can just pin that one on Gruden?

Bryan Edwards

The jury is still out on Edwards, but he isn’t trending in the direction of Terrell Owens 2.0. Albeit unexpectedly, Edwards was handed a huge opportunity to produce in 2021 and, so far, he hasn’t particularly taken advantage.

Of the three players drafted from the Mack trade, Edwards probably has the most upside, but still has a whole lot to prove.

Was the Mack trade worse than the Russell pick?

It has to be.

Not only did the Raiders end up with an embarrassing return on Mack, they lost a leader in the locker room and arguably the best defensive player in the NFL at the time.

None of the high draft picks from the Mack trade are on course to be re-signed and one barely stayed on the roster for a year.

And let’s not forget the Raiders sent a second-round pick to Chicago with Mack. Just for good measure.

twitter: @raidersbeat


70 thoughts on “JaMarcus Russell is no Longer the Raiders Worst-Ever Organizational Decision

  1. Jacobs is a better than average back. The team would be wise to re-sign him to a team friendly contract. The OL he’s running behind is weak, but he still gets good yards per carry. He’s hurt at times, but what back isn’t??? AND unlike alot of young players, he’s a good character guy.

    1. He also has fathered 9 kids with 8 different women. I don’t know if that falls into the “high character guy” category. Our bar is just so low.

      1. LOL, MORON ALERT! Where do you get your news, the Black Sports Athletic, the one who published that story, which is completely false…Oh you retarded inbred sheeple are pathetic in your misinformation.

        1. How whst positivity do you really see

          Do you think the raiders are better off without mack

          Because honestly since mack has been gone
          The little town o live in has not even 10000 people and our junior high school flag football team has a better defense than the raiders

    2. Lol good character guy who wrecked his Acura in Vegas In the tunnel last off season and some how avoided a dui lololplololloll drake was a much better runner this year fr man

  2. Khalil Mack’s identity as a game changing defensive sack machine was tied him wearing the
    Black and Silver of the Raiders. But, what were they supposed to do? Mack did not show up for optional team workouts, and was holding out while not getting in game shape to play. I
    think that this ended up being the worst negotiation and trade in Raider history based on
    the results it had on the Raiders.

    1. I couldn’t agree more with your views. I know for a fact that Mack was extremely soured by the decision to dismantle the team and have trust in the newly hired head coach. Mack loved playing for DelRio, that out of nowhere firing sealed his deal. I believe he loved being a Raider at that point in his career but also knew that the organization couldn’t retain he & Carr. These are just one or two on a long list of bad decisions made over the last 17 or so years.

      1. Man the only person who won the Mack trade was Mack himself. He’s sure won a lot of Super Bowls for the bears. Bears haven’t done anything with him, what would the Raiders have done?. Mack only cares about the money. I’m glad we moved on

        1. You don’t have a clue. Mack greatly improved the bears defense. But the Bears offense is sorry. So how can you say Mack hasn’t helped when he has nothing to do with the offensive side. Have you already forgotten that the Bears beat us and that Mack sacked Carr?

    2. Chucky that is the worst move ever made. 2 times!! We shouldn’t have traded him to Tampa and for sure should have never given him 10 years and all the power. I still think Russell is dumbest because everyone knew what we were getting. Gruden is the worst.

    3. Some of y’all Raiders fans are the most fakest people I know. I prayed and prayed after JDR the Raiders wouldnt get Gruden and when I tried to explain to people why y’all just laughed and told me how great he was. WHEN was Gruden ever great??? Yall told me I was outta my mind to diss a “true” Raider like that…The biggest disappointment in my opinion is Mark Davis. He’s the one that hired that clown and allowed him to destroy this team further. JDR at least brought some sense of respect back to us. Carr and most of the team needs to just go. Ridiculous that were rebuilding for a 17th time in 20 years. Pathetic actually!!!

      1. When was Gruden ever great? Are you kidding? When our team was a joke in the mid 90s he turned us into a Superbowl contender. Carr is not the problem. We need a top 15 defense or we go nowhere with any QB.

    4. They shoulda paid him. Mack loved the raiders if you don’t think so rewatch the games in 2016 he was a team leader. Stars holdout it happens and Mack proved he didn’t need the work when he tore it up in Chicago right out of the gate and provided the spark that carried them to the playoffs.

  3. It’s an opinion question but what it really comes down to are the facts of wins and losses. Russell played 3 seasons with the Raiders in which they won 14 games. Gruden’s 3 seasons beginning with 2018 produced 19 wins, better but by no means good. I think the Jamarcus pick still holds number 1 based on the numbers. If you look back at that draft class, it was pretty weak. Adrian Peterson, Calvin Johnson, and Marshawn Lynch were the most productive out of that class but other than that, not a whole lot more especially at the QB position.

  4. Yup‼️ Now onto tomorrow’s game against the hated Chiefs, which for all intents and purposes should be a blowout after the way the Raiders have been playing the game lately, yet somehow they always play these games they’re supposed to lose with vigor and most oftentimes win and then play down to opponents who on paper they should obliterate and ultimately wind up losing with the loss last week against the Redskins along with the Giants and Bears coming to mind, so who’s showing up tomorrow⁉️ One thing is certain and that will be I’ll grow a few more gray hairs and my blood pressure most certainly will skyrocket from the Raiders play and the zebras intentionally screwing us‼️🤯😳🥴🙄

  5. On paper the Mack trade was fantastic. Unfortunately the Raiders do not know how to draft in the early rounds. My cousin is a huge Bears fan. He said Mayock hosed the Bears front office. He also complains about Mack taking playes off and not being worth the money or draft capital. Mack is also not playing the rest of this season. Russel is still king of Raider bad moves.

    1. Only cause you are a hater. After Russell‘s third season, the Raiders were 5-11. And that’s as good as it got with Russell cause Raiders cut him. After Carr’s third season, the Raiders were 12-4. Carr is the all time Raiders leading passer in every category. So you take Russell over Carr, just as long as it’s for a team other than the Raiders. The only thing worse than the Raiders picking Russell is your comment.

      1. Being honest with y’all Derek Carr is garbage Jonathan Abrams is really garbage you will see tomorrow when they face the Chiefs


    2. “iver Carr?” Is that anything like the “miracle drug” Ivermectin? You must have taken a hit of that sheep de-wormer before posting this..

      Carr, for all his flaws and Inconsistencies is light years better than JaMarcbust..

      The Raider coaches gave Russell a tape and told him it was the next week’s opponent, take it home, watch it and report the defensive tendencies to them the next day..

      They suspected he wasn’t studying tape on his own at all..

      He came back the next day talking some mumbo jumbo about blitz packages or something, had not a clue that the tape was blank.. This came from his former teammate, Kirk Morrison..

  6. Let’s gloss over the fact that Mack has not been healthy or achieved the level of performance we all know that he’s capable of
    Or the fact that we didn’t have the required cap space to pay him

  7. Gruden should have never been hired the second time around. Clearly the game had passed him by. His play calling was so predictable that other teams were able to clue in on them. Gruden tried to come off as some type of guru when it came to talent. But the reality was he couldn’t spot talent to save his life. Typical Raiders organization.

    1. Spot on. If there’s something good in this year it’s that we’re not saddled with Gruden for 6 more years. Now, it’s time to shed Greg Olson. Predicable, conservative play calling is for the mediocre.

  8. I guess stupid observations qualify as journalism nowadays.

    Mack wanted cap busting numbers – money that straps teams for years. Bears bit and have been hamstrung ever since.

    After a whopping $34 million dollar signing bonus, Mack’s cap hit climbs to $30,344,200 in 2022. According to spotrac.com, which has the restructuring details, that is the ninth-highest cap hit in the league for next season and the largest among non-quarterbacks. Mack’s cap hit in 2023 will be $28,694,200 and is scheduled to be $26,444,200 in 2024.

    Still think trading him was a bad move? Which decision would you rather have right now? An oft-injured, aging pass rusher, or cap space?

  9. This is such a ridiculous take I’m going to have to comment here for the first time. Not even going to look at the other side of the trade, that Mack hasn’t been worth the money the past three years and the Bears haven’t done anything with him?

    We definitely could have done better with the picks and resources gained from the trade. But in 2018, maybe we win six games instead of four with Mack. In 2019 he would have needed to be a WR to get the team to the next level, 2020 he would’ve needed to be two CBs, and this year I’m pretty sure both our DEs are grading out better than him for nearly half the cost combined.

    I can respect a lot of perspectives on the Mack trade, mostly because it’s really ultimately been a big “meh” for everybody involved. Neither the Raiders nor Bears clearly “won” or “lost” the trade. But saying it’s been worse than taking a QB #1 who didn’t even try to be a viable pro, and spending what we had to spend on him before draft picks’ salaries became slotted going in, probably the WORST DRAFT PICK OF ALL TIME (with Trey Lance looking like he wants to accept that challenge)… no, that’s a terrible take.

    2021 Chicago Bears 6
    2020 Chicago Bears 9
    2019 Chicago Bears 8.5
    2018 Chicago Bears 12.5
    QB Pressures and QB Hits down EVERY YEAR!!! Not so Great for a Linebacker/Edge who got the following contract:
    Khalil Mack signed a 6 year, $141,000,000 contract with the Chicago Bears, including a $34,000,000 signing bonus, $90,000,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $23,500,000. In 2021, Mack will earn a base salary of $2,046,000, a restructure bonus of $15,000,000 and a workout bonus of $200,000, while carrying a cap hit of $14,646,000 and a dead cap value of $38,646,000.
    Basically he is nowhere near elite – only had One Worthy Year with the Bears which shows that The Writer of this Opinion is another Dummy who fails to look at the Total Picture!!!

  11. I don’t see it, looking back, that trade was the right thing to do at the time.

    Maybe and just maybe the raiders wouldn’t have picked maxx crosby because they wouldn’t have had a need for him

    In my opinion mack is where he deserves to be with the money he got and the raiders are where they need to be for their decisions

    GO RAIDERS, and please get rid of carr…..

  12. I don’t see it, looking back, that trade was the right thing to do at the time, looking back is childish

    Maybe and just maybe the raiders wouldn’t have picked maxx crosby because they wouldn’t have had a need for him

    In my opinion mack is where he deserves to be with the money he got and the raiders are where they need to be for their decisions

    GO RAIDERS, and please get rid of carr…..

  13. Why the hate on Jacobs isn’t world breaking by any means but holding a respectable 4.0 yard per carry average behind lines that have been in flux. The fact you think edwards has somehow looked like a better pick makes me think the raiders worst mistake was having you as a fan and writer

  14. It’s embarrassing how bad all those picks were wasted. When will the Raiders draft the right players in the early rounds. Our late round picks are great, but we suck on evaluation of early picks

  15. Jamarcus was worse. The sad thing is that if Jamarcus had a work ethic at all he could’ve been an all time great. Waste of a once in a generation talent.

  16. Have you seen JaMarcus Russell’s stats?
    The fact that we got Jacobs as part of the Mack trade its better than anything related to the Russell draft

  17. Like I said from the beginning never should have hired Jon gruden, in my eyes he came back just to destroy the team because of Al just look at the things he did while he was there.

  18. What’s done is done. Fate reared it’s ugly head and Mack went to da bears, Cooper to Dallas, and it’s still fate driving shitty seasons.

  19. One of the comments hit it right on the button mack didn’t bring us any closer to a playoff or championship nor has he done with the bears until we get a complete team to compete we can only be hopeful in the seasons to come .

  20. I love how y’all put out this trash article bitching and moaning whm you **** well know that the team is Ina way better position to compete now than before Gruden got here. Plus we all know whoever wrote this was too scared to claim it, therfore it’s just a “raidersbeat” piece. Do better

  21. Mack was an elite talent.. Was with the Bears for 3 years, they couldn’t have gotten to the playoffs 2 of the 3 years prior to this one without him. The Raiders couldn’t have gotten there in 2016 without him either..

    I hated to see the trade at the time, I knew it was going to lead to really bad Raider defenses for 2-3 years minimum. Looking back, it would have been a really good deal had the picks they got for him been used better..

    IMO they drafted Jacobs too high. Could have had Montez Sweat at 24, then taken Jacobs at 26 or wherever the 3rd first rounder was.

    Hindsight as they say is 20/20.. Had they taken Sweat at 24 instead of him going to WFT at 25, the Raiders might not have taken Crosby in the 4th round. Crosby has been better than Sweat overall.

    The new GM or Mayock, in the increasingly unlikely event Mayock does survive, can’t undo bad picks from the past.. We can only hope they make good picks starting in 2022.

    No one outside the building knows who was pounding the table for whom in free agency or the draft since Mayock was hired.. There are people who do have that info inside the building.. If Mayock pounded the table for Arnette, Ferrell or some of the other busts, he needs to go IMO..

    Mayock is prone to exaggeration or getting caught up in the moment.. Before he referred to Mr Process as “the greatest leader of men I have ever been around” Mayock bragged on Jarryd Jones-Smith as a possible solution at RT before the 2021 draft.

    SOMEONE with the Raiders drafted Leatherwood higher than anyone else had him ranked and Jarryd Jones-Smith or Smith-Jones couldn’t block a hat in preseason and was waived.. That guy couldn’t block the doors on Jared from Subway’s windowless van..

  22. The raiders got lots of draft capital and salary cap. The Bears dramatically overpaid (in their eyes eyes, read the articles) for a player that was great one more year and became less year after year. The Raiders squandered what they got-if you get a great deal and spend it on junk, is that a bad deal or does that make you a moron? Exactly.

  23. Well, what’s the point of having cap space when your Head Coach\GM and his token GM whiff on their draft choices and free agent signings?

    Trading Mack created cap space? And how expertly did QB Camp TV Celebrity Gruden take advantage of this cap space? How many playoff appearances did he creat from it?
    How many playoff appearances did the Bears get from this trade?

    Jamarcus will go down in history as The Worst No.1 Overall Draft Pick EVER.
    * The NFL now has a pre-set salary for 1st-round draftees because of Jamarcus
    * The Warren Moon documentary on NFL Network made a point of the discrimination he faced from League owners in not being drafted as a QB. That documentary closed by saying how things changed in the NFL because a Black quarterback did finally get drafted No.1 as a quarterback…and then they showed Cam Newton on the screen.
    (Jamarcus was drafted *years* before Cam. Apparently, the producers made an executive decision on that one)

  24. I agree with this article 100%!!! Mark Davis should’ve listened to his daddy and let that miserable failure of a coach Jon Gruden be. The Mack trade has been a disaster as have his and Mayock’s “team building.” They have drafted poorly, traded poorly and signed poorly. Clean out the entire operation—too bad Davis can’t be let go himself—and start over. Forget about Pete Carroll, Harbaugh and any other coaching retread, and restart with an experienced young GM, coach and staff that emphasizes defense, with first rate line backing for a change. Get back to playing hard nosed, physical Raiders football on both sides of the ball. The I’ll fated Jon Gruden debacle has set this team back years. Now is the time for Davis to show some real patience—that will yield positive results unlike the farce Gruden years —with a new, truly skilled regime that can bring the Silver and Back to the days of Pride and Poise, and to the Commitment to Excellence.

    1. The Worst pick the Raiders ever made was Don Mosebar with the 26th pick in 1983. The next pick was Miami with Dan Marino………….

  25. I expected this article to say that the worst organizational decision by the Raiders was rehiring Gruden.

  26. Hey Nation, gals guys! Why does having 9 kids with 8 different women factor into being a character issue?? What does it have to do with being a good football player or not?? The man just has an overactive libido. Has nothing to do with football and besides he can afford it!! Not your business to be the parent police

  27. Debating yesterday will change nothing. The ONLY THING that is important now is righting the ship. Does ANYONE believe that current Raiders management and indeed ownership has the ability to do so? and if not then what can the fans do to help revive this franchise?

  28. When did raider fans turn into such bitches u lady’s sound like 40 whiners win loose or draw ride or die not whine and cry gruden car those are mortals they come they go but there’s only one nation so let’s all concentrate on beating the **** outa the chefs one nation indivisible and justice for all no more acting like tampon Bay fans please

Comments are closed.