The Las Vegas Raiders have legacy bricks outside the new Allegiant Stadium and JaMarcus Russell even has one!
This upcoming Monday, the Las Vegas Raiders open up their new home, Allegiant Stadium, just outside the Sin City when they face the New Orleans Saints. This was supposed to be a grand celebration, but that won’t happen with fans this year, as fans are barred from attending Raiders games this season due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Even so, the organization is still honoring their legacy in their brand new residence.
Outside of Allegiant Stadium are individual “legacy bricks,” which will feature the name of every player that wore the famous black and silver jersey in the team’s history. That’s right, even first-round bust JaMarcus Russell received one!
Russell did make history while with the Raiders
Russell made a name for himself during his junior season with the LSU Tigers, where he completed 67.8-percent of his passes for 3,129 yards, 28 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 13 games. In his final game, Russell helped lead the Tigers to a 41-14 victory over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the Sugar Bowl.
Instead of returning to Baton Rouge for a senior season, Russell declared for the NFL Draft. Russell impressed many at the Scouting Combine, one of whom were the Raiders, the holders of the first-overall pick. The Raiders selected Russell and gave him a $61 million contract, back when those deals weren’t subject to the rookie wage scale. And that’s where everything went downhill.
Russell’s play from college didn’t translate to the NFL, and it was quite painful to watch. In his three years with the Raiders (and the NFL as a whole), Russell completed 52.1-percent of his passes for 4,083 yards, 18 touchdowns and 23 interceptions in 31 games. It didn’t help that he had trouble with weight gain and had reported poor work ethic.
The latter was confirmed by his former teammate Kirk Morrison, who said Russell never studied game film. That was discovered with quarterback coach John DeFilippo’s blank DVD test, which Russell failed miserably, as Morrison recalled.
Even though his stint with the Raiders was a disaster, it was nice of owner Mark Davis to give him a “legacy brick” outside their home for many years to come. As his father Al famously said, “once a Raider, always a Raider.”