Jamarcus Russell is this list's most recent bust, but he's made a strong case for the biggest flameout to date. After a standout college career at Louisiana State University, the quarterback was picked first overall in the 2007 NFL draft by the Oakland Raiders. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. even proclaimed him the next John Elway [source: USA Today]. Russell also knew his own worth: He ditched training camp and held out for a six-year, $60 million contract, of which $32 million was guaranteed.
But the young signal-caller started poorly and grew progressively worse, until he was benched in 2009 and finished the season with the worst quarterback rating in the league. The Raiders won just seven of the 25 games in which Russell was its starting QB. After just three seasons, the team released him in May 2010. USA Today calculated that Russell earned approximately $110,000 for each of his 354 completions [source: Weir].