Mortensen: 2001 archive

Raiders shop Russell, but Jets not interested

Oct. 21
Normally, not much comes out of the NFL trade deadline, but one surprising development to watch are talks that could involve Raiders defensive tackle Darrell Russell going elsewhere.

League sources first said the Raiders could be fishing for one of the New York Jets' young defensive ends, John Abraham or Shaun Ellis.

But Jets GM Terry Bradway said Monday no trade was likely for Russell, 25, who has fallen out of favor after a subpar season in 2000. Then he served a four-game suspension to start this season for a violation of the league's substance-abuse policy.

"No interest," Bradway said.

Bradway would not say if he had been contacted by the Raiders, but one other New York official acknowledged that Oakland had "let it be known" Russell is on the trading block. Other personnel directors surveyed by agreed that Oakland is attempting to deal Russell before the trading deadline Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.

Because of his status in the substance abuse program, the Raiders could have a difficult time trading Russell, who would face a possible one-year suspension for a third incident.

Russell was the Raiders' first-round choice in the 1997 draft. Oakland has done a nice job of stockpiling defensive tackles, players it can rotate in and out at the position.

A deal for either Abraham or Ellis, two first-round picks in 2000, would have made sense because Oakland lost defensive end Trace Armstrong for the season. The Raiders have only 11 sacks in 189 passing attempts by opponents in their first five games. Abraham is a player of great promise, and Ellis, who started this season at tackle before moving outside to his more natural end position, is also highly regarded by Jets officials.

At the same time the Jets are in need of defensive tackles because of Jason Ferguson's season-ending injury and a conversion to a four-man front. The Jets almost drafted Russell with the first pick in the '97 draft before they traded it to the Rams, who chose Orlando Pace. senior writer Len Pasquarelli contributed to this story.

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