Look for Campbell to start and for Russell to go

The NFL’s never-ending news cycle keeps churning. Here are five postdraft questions to ponder as we move toward minicamps:

It seems likely that Jason Campbell will start for the Raiders this season.
It seems likely that Jason Campbell will start for the Raiders this season.

1. Does the Jason Campbell trade signal the end for JaMarcus Russell with the Raiders?

Acquiring Campbell from the Redskins puts Russell on notice. He has been a disappointment since being drafted No. 1 overall by the Raiders in 2007 — a quarterback maligned both for his lack of improvement and lack of work ethic.

Campbell has said he expects to start, and he should. Raiders coach Tom Cable did not name Campbell the No. 1 quarterback when speaking with reporters following the trade, but it was clear Cable was delighted to have Campbell.

"We’re going to have a great competition," Cable said. "There will be some decisions made in the next month or so. We feel like adding Jason to this football team was very important. He’s a guy in need of a fresh start. He’s proven that he can do some things and have some success in the NFL."

Asked if there was any way Russell could win the starting job, Cable said, "Sure, if he competes for the job, if he’s doing all those things that your starting quarterback is supposed to do."

To this point, Russell has not done all the things a starting quarterback is supposed to do. He could be released within the week. The Raiders owe him $3 million no matter what they decide, but they would owe him $6.45 million if he makes next season’s roster.

Unless he agrees to a pay cut, Russell can probably kiss Oakland goodbye. And many Raiders would probably say, "Good riddance."

2. Can the Redskins and Albert Haynesworth coexist effectively?

G.M. Bruce Allen denied that the star defensive tackle had been shopped during the draft. Now that Haynesworth is still with the Redskins, will he be the dominant player the Redskins are paying him to be as a nose tackle in coach Mike Shanahan’ 3-4 scheme?

The best-case scenario for the new-look Redskins is that Haynesworth buys into his new role. The worst-case scenario is that Haynesworth does not and becomes a distraction. We will see how willing Haynesworth is to move forward, now that he is still a Redskin.

"We know where Albert stands, and he knows where we stand," Allen said. "We look forward to having him have a productive season"

3. How will the turmoil surrounding Ben Roethlisberger impact him and the Steelers’ season?

The Steelers did not trade their franchise quarterback, so now they must continue to deal with the repercussions of Roethlisberger’s behavior, including his six-game suspension. Director of football operations Kevin Colbert had this response when asked about his franchise quarterback following the draft.

"We can’t defend the behavior or actions, and as an organization we won’t," Colbert said. "But we do defend his opportunity to make right. And that’s the right thing to do. The guy has helped us win two championships and he’s made some mistakes, but he also deserves the opportunity to rectify those mistakes, and I know we stand behind his opportunity to do that."

How the Steelers deal with Roethlisberger’s absence and eventual return will continue to be one of the NFL’s main story lines.

4. How long will it take the Rams to sign Sam Bradford?

The quicker Bradford signs, the better his chances of making a first-year impact. Avoiding a lengthy holdout is a key to any rookie’s season, particularly a quarterback. If Bradford wants to start for the Rams, the sooner he gets into training camp the better.

"I realize that I have a lot of work in front of me," Bradford said. "It’s important to be out there with my teammates, start building chemistry. I’m going to trust my agent. He knows it’s very important to get me into camp as well."

5. Can Jimmy Clausen prove that he should not have dropped to No. 48 in the draft?

It will be interesting to see whether Clausen can challenge Matt Moore for the starting quarterback job with the Panthers. With coach John Fox in the final year of his contract, this will be an intriguing season in Carolina.

"If you’re a head coach in the NFL, you’re on a one-year contract," NFL Network analyst and former Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "I don’t care what the length of your contract is. All that means is you’re going to be paid if you get let go."

Clifton Brown is a writer for Sporting News. E-mail him at cliftonbrown@sportingnews.com.

The NFL’s never-ending news cycle keeps churning. Here are five postdraft questions to ponder as we move toward minicamps:

It seems likely that Jason Campbell will start for the Raiders this season.
It seems likely that Jason Campbell will start for the Raiders this season.

1. Does the Jason Campbell trade signal the end for JaMarcus Russell with the Raiders?

Acquiring Campbell from the Redskins puts Russell on notice. He has been a disappointment since being drafted No. 1 overall by the Raiders in 2007 — a quarterback maligned both for his lack of improvement and lack of work ethic.

Campbell has said he expects to start, and he should. Raiders coach Tom Cable did not name Campbell the No. 1 quarterback when speaking with reporters following the trade, but it was clear Cable was delighted to have Campbell.

"We’re going to have a great competition," Cable said. "There will be some decisions made in the next month or so. We feel like adding Jason to this football team was very important. He’s a guy in need of a fresh start. He’s proven that he can do some things and have some success in the NFL."

Asked if there was any way Russell could win the starting job, Cable said, "Sure, if he competes for the job, if he’s doing all those things that your starting quarterback is supposed to do."

To this point, Russell has not done all the things a starting quarterback is supposed to do. He could be released within the week. The Raiders owe him $3 million no matter what they decide, but they would owe him $6.45 million if he makes next season’s roster.

Unless he agrees to a pay cut, Russell can probably kiss Oakland goodbye. And many Raiders would probably say, "Good riddance."

2. Can the Redskins and Albert Haynesworth coexist effectively?

G.M. Bruce Allen denied that the star defensive tackle had been shopped during the draft. Now that Haynesworth is still with the Redskins, will he be the dominant player the Redskins are paying him to be as a nose tackle in coach Mike Shanahan’ 3-4 scheme?

The best-case scenario for the new-look Redskins is that Haynesworth buys into his new role. The worst-case scenario is that Haynesworth does not and becomes a distraction. We will see how willing Haynesworth is to move forward, now that he is still a Redskin.

"We know where Albert stands, and he knows where we stand," Allen said. "We look forward to having him have a productive season"

3. How will the turmoil surrounding Ben Roethlisberger impact him and the Steelers’ season?

The Steelers did not trade their franchise quarterback, so now they must continue to deal with the repercussions of Roethlisberger’s behavior, including his six-game suspension. Director of football operations Kevin Colbert had this response when asked about his franchise quarterback following the draft.

"We can’t defend the behavior or actions, and as an organization we won’t," Colbert said. "But we do defend his opportunity to make right. And that’s the right thing to do. The guy has helped us win two championships and he’s made some mistakes, but he also deserves the opportunity to rectify those mistakes, and I know we stand behind his opportunity to do that."

How the Steelers deal with Roethlisberger’s absence and eventual return will continue to be one of the NFL’s main story lines.

4. How long will it take the Rams to sign Sam Bradford?

The quicker Bradford signs, the better his chances of making a first-year impact. Avoiding a lengthy holdout is a key to any rookie’s season, particularly a quarterback. If Bradford wants to start for the Rams, the sooner he gets into training camp the better.

"I realize that I have a lot of work in front of me," Bradford said. "It’s important to be out there with my teammates, start building chemistry. I’m going to trust my agent. He knows it’s very important to get me into camp as well."

5. Can Jimmy Clausen prove that he should not have dropped to No. 48 in the draft?

It will be interesting to see whether Clausen can challenge Matt Moore for the starting quarterback job with the Panthers. With coach John Fox in the final year of his contract, this will be an intriguing season in Carolina.

"If you’re a head coach in the NFL, you’re on a one-year contract," NFL Network analyst and former Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "I don’t care what the length of your contract is. All that means is you’re going to be paid if you get let go."

Clifton Brown is a writer for Sporting News. E-mail him at cliftonbrown@sportingnews.com.

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