Jeff Garcia: Bears and Cardinals 'ideal' teams for JaMarcus Russell

By Evan Hilbert |

JaMarcus Russell (seated) hopes to return to the NFL and play behind a veteran quarterback. (USATSI)

JaMarcus Russell has spent the last few weeks shaving pounds and trying to catch the eye of several NFL teams. On Tuesday, his trainer and former NFL Pro Bowl quarterback Jeff Garcia laid out the best-case scenario.

Garcia would like to see Russell head to a team with a veteran starter that Russell can learn from -- such as the Cardinals or Bears.

"Those are two ideal teams: You've got Carson Palmer with Arizona and Jay Cutler with Chicago, two quarterbacks who aren't real mobile guys who are more back-in-the-pocket guys, that fits JaMarcus' playing style,'' Garcia told USA Today. "That would be great for him. Hopefully, it's all real.''

Russell, who informed us last week that he no longer breathes like a fat man, was reported to have canceled a public workout scheduled for Wednesday. However, the free-agent quarterback claims that was never in the works.

"We never had a pro day date scheduled,'' Russell told the paper. "We came up with the idea that if teams were interested, we'd go in there and work out at their place. It would be better with them having all their coaches there at the same time."

And it appears teams are interested.

The former No. 1 overall pick has been working with Garcia since early February, but, according to TEST Academy CEO Brian Martin, he still needs to do some work on his body before teams start reaching out to him.

"Everybody's kind of waiting to see where his weight is, and when he gets close to weight they want to bring him in and evaluate him," Martin said.

Russell, of course, is regarded as one of the biggest (ahem) busts in NFL history. In three seasons with the Raiders, Russell threw 18 touchdowns and 23 interceptions, for just a 65.2 quarterback rating -- the worst of any quarterback taken first overall since the '60s.

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