There is a growing belief that the CFL may be about to welcome former first overall draft pick, JaMarcus Russell, into their ranks as the quarterback looks to mount a comeback in the sport.
Viewed by many as the biggest draft bust in recent history, Russell left the Oakland Raiders after a disappointing six seasons, before drifting off into obscurity, aside from the occasional photo of the 27-year old looking less than athletic.
But an unsuccessful tryout with the Chicago Bears has apparently convinced Russell to give his footballing career another crack. Recent pictures show the quarterback significantly lighter than he had been, coinciding with rumours in the CFL and NFL betting linking Russell with a move north of the border.
Now, this begs the question as to whether or not Russell would bring anything to the league. While his time out of the game will be a concern to any franchise looking at signing Russell, there is no doubt that the quarterback possesses an arm of some talent.
Even on the bigger Canadian field, there is not a throw Russell could not make. He has all the physical tools to thrive in the CFL, but that was also the case in the NFL, and that proved too much for the QB.
The question is whether Russell has turned a corner and really is ready to put his full focus into his career and not on the trappings that come with it.
Getting back in shape is one thing, but Russell also needs to prove he is willing to put in the hours studying film, learning the playbook, and working every area of his game in order to get the best out of his natural talent.
It remains to be seen if Russell can convince a CFL GM that he is a different player and person to the one who last threw a ball in anger in 2009. However, it would be hard to imagine that fans of live football commentary aren’t intrigued by the prospect of welcoming a recent number-one draft pick to the CFL.