Former Oakland Raiders No. 1 overall pick JaMarcus Russell gets his first shot at returning to the NFL on Friday when he visits the Chicago Bears for a workout that will include three other quarterbacks, according to an NFL source with knowledge of the situation. Having shed a reported 50 pounds in recent months, Russell has drawn interest from multiple teams, including the Bears, who would like to obtain a current evaluation of the quarterback. Initially, the Bears weren't interested in taking a look at Russell, and one source believed nobody in the NFL would take the quarterback's comeback seriously until he shed a significant amount of weight. Now that Russell weighs a reported 265 pounds -- his weight when the Raiders made him the No. 1 overall pick in 2007 -- the Bears want to give the quarterback an opportunity. That doesn't mean a signing would be imminent if Russell produced a strong performance during the workout. With three quarterbacks already on the roster in Jay Cutler, Josh McCown, and Matt Blanchard, the Bears are contemplating whether they want to bring in a fourth quarterback to take to training camp. Currently, the team likes what it already has on the roster, and isn't looking to bring in a fourth quarterback. Given the fluidity regarding personnel around the league, the team could change its mind. In addition to bringing in Russell and the three other quarterbacks, the Bears plan to work out several veterans at multiple positions as they continue to evaluate how to best fill the back end of their roster. By putting together up-to-date evaluations on several veteran players, including Russell, the Bears will have gathered a short list of vets it can call in the event of an injury. NFL Network reported Russell would like to sign with a team where he can learn under a veteran quarterback. If Russell doesn't sign with an NFL team within the next 30 to 45 days, he also would be open to signing with a CFL team.
Bears will work out JaMarcus Russell Friday
ESPN Chicago | Jun 4