MOBILE, Ala. – Former Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell has been charged with possession of a controlled substance — codeine syrup — after being arrested at his home in Alabama on Monday, authorities said.
The 24-year-old former LSU star and the No. 1 draft choice in 2007 was arrested as part of an undercover narcotics investigation, said Mobile County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Lori Myles. She would not say what led to his arrest. She said he did not have a prescription for the codeine.
Russell, who graduated from high school in Mobile, was booked into the city jail and released soon afterward on $2,500 bond, online records show.
The Raiders released Russell, considered one of the NFL’s biggest draft busts, in May after he won only seven of his 25 starts and was benched. He completed just 52.1 percent of his passes in his career with 18 touchdowns, 23 interceptions, 15 lost fumbles and a passer rating of 65.2.
Oakland paid Russell about $36.4 million through the 2009 season. Since the start of the common draft in 1967, only one other No. 1 pick was released this quickly in his NFL career. Indianapolis cut 1992 top pick Steve Emtman after three seasons, but that was more because of injuries than production.
Russell and his agent did not immediately return calls for comment.
Codeine syrup is also know as sizzurp, lean, or drank has been recenlty popularized in hip-hop music after starting in Houston.