JaMarcus Russell might've finally given up on his NFL dreams, but his dreams of living like a boss look very alive 'cause TMZ Sports has a pic of the former #1 overall pick hanging with one of the biggest stars in rap ... Rick Ross.
The two hung out on January 16th after Ross performed the same day at the Nightown nightclub in Destin, Florida. We're told Russell -- a HUGE fan -- heard about the show and drove all the way in to chop it up with Rozay.
Judging from the pic, the two seemed to hit it off -- and had a great time while partying with several bottles of Ross' Luc Belaire Rare Rose.
Here's the thing ... Russell has struggled with substance abuse in the past (sizzurp) ... and also had a close call with foreclosure -- so it's interesting to see him balling out with booze and a fancy piece of jewelry on his wrist.
On a more hilarious note -- the reason why Russell is partly cropped out of the picture is because the woman who took the photo is Julia Beverly -- the founder of Ozone Magazine and Pimp C's biographer -- and she didn't know who he was.