Posted: 1 hours 47 minutes ago Around the League: Russell makes history By Adam Schefter | NFL Network As they had hoped, the Oakland Raiders and quarterback JaMarcus Russell made history together. Unfortunately for both sides, it is not the type that either wanted. Russell’s holdout reached 34 days on Wednesday –- one more than former No. 1 overall pick Orlando Pace’s holdout reached with the St. Louis Rams in 1997. Signing dates of No. 1 picks since 1977 Year...Player...Date 2006...Mario Williams...April 28 2005...Alex Smith...July 26 2004...Eli Manning...July 29 2003...Carson Palmer...April 25 2002...David Carr...April 20 2001...Michael Vick...May 9 2000...Courtney Brown...May 10 1999...Tim Couch...April 17 1998...Peyton Manning...July 28 1997...Orlando Pace...Aug. 16 1996...Keyshawn Johnson...Aug. 6 1995...Ki-Jana Carter...July 19 1994...Dan Wilkinson...May 5 1993...Drew Bledsoe...July 6 1992...Steve Emtman...April 26 1991...Russell Maryland...April 22 1990...Jeff George...July 12 1989...Troy Aikman...April 26 1988...Aundray Bruce...April 6 1987...Vinny Testaverde...April 3 1986...Bo Jackson...Never signed 1985...Bruce Smith...Feb. 28 1984...Irving Fryar...April 11 1983...John Elway...May 2 1982...Kenneth Sims...June 9 1981...George Rogers...June 18 1980...Billy Sims...June 11 1979...Tom Cousineau...Never signed 1978...Earl Campbell...April 28 1977...Ricky Bell...May 3 Now, if and when he signs with the Raiders, Russell’s holdout will mark the longest one in the common draft era by a No. 1 overall pick that eventually signed with the team that drafted him. If the Raiders fail to sign Russell, they would hardly be the first franchise not to wrap up the No. 1 overall pick. In 1986, Tampa Bay drafted Auburn running back Bo Jackson No. 1 overall. Rather than sign a five-year offer with the Buccaneers, Jackson opted to play baseball for the Kansas City Royals. Jackson went back into the draft and, in 1987, was selected in the seventh round –- by Russell’s Raiders. In 1979, Buffalo drafted Ohio State linebacker Tom Cousineau with the No. 1 overall pick, but he opted for Montreal in the Canadian Football League. When Cousineau returned to the NFL, Buffalo traded the linebacker’s rights to Cleveland in 1983 for the 14th overall first-round pick that netted the Bills Hall-of-Fame quarterback Jim Kelly. Of course, before he signed with Buffalo, Kelly pulled a sort-of Cousineau. He opted to play in the USFL before returning to Buffalo, where he made his NFL name. Now the Raiders aren’t even concerned with when Russell will make his name. For now, they just want to see it on the dotted line. ANOTHER NO. 1 Preseason games do not count, but they do matter. And what matters most in New York is that quarterback Eli Manning finally has looked like the No. 1 overall pick the Giants acquired from San Diego. Behind a strong running game and offensive line -– and without Tiki Barber pointing it out -– the much-scrutinized Manning has had a preseason inspiring large hopes within the organization. Heading into Thursday night’s preseason finale at New England, Manning has completed 30-of-43 passes for 287 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and a 111.3 quarterback rating. These are the type of numbers the Giants hoped they would be getting on a consistent basis. Maybe now, with the help of Giants quarterbacks coach Chris Palmer and offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, Manning is going to make the kind of strides his brother Peyton once did. So far, the indications are positive. ATLANTA’S QB IN TAMPA? As Atlanta prepares to scour the waiver wire for another quarterback, it’s possible the Falcons next quarterback could be on the division-rival Buccaneers roster. Tampa Bay is well aware of Atlanta’s intentions, too. But it is trying to figure out what is best for its franchise. Buccaneers quarterbacks Jeff Garcia, Bruce Gradkowski and Luke McCown have roster spots all but locked up. Chris Simms does not. Simms would be the type of quarterback that would greatly appeal to Atlanta -– if he were a free agent, which Tampa Bay could decide to make him this weekend. Tampa’s roster decisions this weekend could have a lot to do with what other players it wants to keep at other positions. But Simms will get one more chance Thursday night to prove he is worth keeping. It will be an extended look. Tampa Bay is planning to play Simms at least a quarter in the preseason finale against the Houston Texans. Simms needs to give the Buccaneers –- or maybe the Falcons –- a reason to believe. This will be his chance. LAST CUTS ARE THE DEEPEST … Do the math. Thirty-two NFL teams each will cut 22 players this weekend, meaning over 700 players suddenly will be left unemployed. Few of the 700-plus players will be household names. Yet behind each cut is a man who lost his job, with a story to tell. One unfolded this week, before the final cuts even occurred. San Diego cut tight end T.J. Cottrell, who happens to be the son of Chargers defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell. Now, it’s not as if Ted Cottrell were unfamiliar with this scenario. In 2004, when the senior Cottrell was the Vikings' defensive coordinator, Minnesota cut his son that summer as well. Still, it never can be easy for a father to see his son lose his job. It has to be even harder when they work for the same company. It is just one story from this past week. There will be over 700 more this weekend. TACKLING A PROBLEM After battling a chronic foot injury that sidelined him all summer, Bengals Pro Bowl offensive tackle Willie Anderson was back at practice Wednesday for the first time since last season. Wireimage.comBengals offensive lineman Willie Anderson is entering his 12th season with the team. Earlier in the day, Anderson took the first necessary step to returning to practice and to game action. He passed his physical, which there were some questions about whether he could do. Now, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis would like to play Anderson in Friday night’s preseason finale against the Indianapolis Colts, and he intends to get his right tackle on the field for the Monday night opener at home against the Baltimore Ravens. Cincinnati needs him. Its left tackle, Levi Jones, has battled a nagging knee injury throughout camp and its right tackle has been a question mark. In the past, there always had been few questions about Anderson. He has started 112 consecutive games, been voted to each of the past four Pro Bowls and has been a fixture in Cincinnati’s line, protecting quarterback Carson Palmer. After seeing Anderson back in his familiar spot Wednesday, there is a feeling of optimism that the offensive tackle will be there for the opener.