Darrell Russell while with the Oakland Raiders.
|Born:||May 27, 1976|
|Died:||December 15, 2005 (aged 29)|
Los Angeles, California
|Height:||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Weight:||325 lb (147 kg)|
|High school:||San Diego (CA) St. Augustine|
|NFL Draft:||1997 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Darrell Anthony Russell, Jr. (May 27, 1976 – December 15, 2005) was an American football defensive tackle for the Oakland Raiders and Washington Redskins of the National Football League. He died in a car crash near Los Angeles after being indefinitely banned from the NFL for repeated violations of the league's substance abuse policy.
Darrell Anthony Russell, Jr. was born in Pensacola, Florida. His mother, Eleanor Russell, divorced in 1986 from Darrell Anthony Russell Sr. when their only child was nine years old, and moved from Florida to Southern California. Russell grew up in a rough part of San Diego just a few blocks from Lincoln Kennedy. Russell graduated from St. Augustine High School.
Russell attended the University of Southern California and, after a dominant 1996 season that featured 19 tackles for loss, was taken second overall in the 1997 NFL Draft by Al Davis and the Raiders. At 6-foot-5-inch (196 cm), 320-pounds Russell ran the 40-yard dash in 4.8 seconds.
Russell's seven-year, $22 million contract in 1997 was at the time the richest rookie contract ever signed in the NFL.
He went on to have 28.5 career sacks. After making the Pro Bowl in 1998 and 1999, averaging ten sacks per year, he was poised to have a dominant NFL career. However, the following season he failed a drug test, which his lawyer attributed to "second-hand smoke," and was later suspended for four games in 2001 for a second violation, this time for failing to be tested. Shortly after that, he tested positive for a banned substance and was given a one-year suspension, which effectively wiped out his 2002 season. Russell missed 1½ years while serving two league suspensions before he played in eight games in 2003 for the Washington Redskins. However, the positive drug tests kept coming, and Russell was suspended indefinitely by the league. Russell's positive drug test in 2004 was his seventh infraction of the league's drug policy. His last NFL experience was in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp in 2004.
|Year||Team||GP||COMB||TOTAL||AST||SACK||FF||FR||FR YDS||INT||IR YDS||AVG IR||LNG||TD||PD|
- GP: games played
- COMB: combined tackles
- TOTAL: total tackles
- AST: assisted tackles
- SACK: sacks
- FF: forced fumbles
- FR: fumble recoveries
- FR YDS: fumble return yards
- INT: interceptions
- IR YDS: interception return yards
- AVG IR: average interception return
- LNG: longest interception return
- TD: interceptions returned for touchdown
- PD: passes defensed
On December 15, 2005, Russell was a passenger in a 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix driven by close friend and former USC teammate Michael Bastianelli when it veered out of control, hitting several items including a tree and a fire hydrant before hitting a parked bus. Both men were found unconscious and taken to area hospitals, where they were pronounced dead.
- "Darrell Russell". ESPN. Retrieved December 31, 2010.
- Berkow, Ira (April 20, 1997). "A Life Change for Mother and Son". The New York Times. Retrieved December 31, 2010.
- "USC Blog".
- Gay, Nancy (December 16, 2005). "Ex-Raider killed in crash: Troubled DT was trying to change life". San Francisco Chronicle.
- Stroud, Rick (July 14, 2004). "Bucs release defensive tackle Russell". St. Petersburg Times.
- "Darrell Russell Stats". ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
- "Mike Bastianelli Life Profile".