The Oakland Raiders open up their three-day post-draft voluntary mini-camp Friday. It's an opportunity for the fresh new draft picks to see the playbook and practice with veterans. It's not mandatory, so typically you'd figure JaMarcus Russell to be safely ensconced at a craps table some 600 miles away.
But not this year. Three days before camp, ESPN's John Clayton reported that Russell was about to be cut, and would likely not even participate in mini-camp because of injury risk.
And as of Thursday Jerry McDonald notes in the Oakland Trib that Russell is at the team facility and working out.
It appears the big guy with the checkbook may have had a change of heart about Russell, and NFL Fanhouse's Nancy Gay spoke to a few anonymous Raiders front office types. "Things change by the minute here," Ms Gay's sources said, "Don't know anymore."
It can't help Russell when rumors circulate that he now weighs 300 pounds. We'll know more about that if he really does practice at mini-camp, in full view of media and cameras.
And if someone secretly sends a dozen free pizzas to Russell's apartment the night before practice, suspect Jason Campbell.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who doesn't know what he will do without JaMarcus Russell to crack jokes about.