First and foremost, I wish David Amerson a clean bill of health going forward.
One of the toughest things to watch this past Oakland Raiders’ season was seeing No. 29 lying prone on the ground injured. Concussions took its toll on the cornerback and a foot injury derailed 2017.
That said, the news of Amerson being waxed from the Raiders roster this past Monday was not surprising. Not in the least bit. Signed to a lucrative four-year nearly $34 million deal after an eye-opening and stellar 2015 campaign, the first shoe to drop in the Jon Gruden 2.0 era was the pricey corner.
According to Spotrac.com, Amerson’s base salary of $5.5 million would have been fully guaranteed if he were on the roster on Wednesday, Feb. 7. That was an exorbitant amount of coin for a defensive back who was routinely torched this past season. I anointed Amerson as Swag Amerson, but injuries led to ineffectiveness and he became Lag Amerson. Can he regain form? He’s still only 26 and if he can remain healthy, probably. But it won’t be with the Raiders.
Let’s hit those quick slants like the Raiders decision to jettison Amerson.
- All eyes on Sean Smith. He’s another pricey cornerback ($8.25 million base salary according to Spotrac). Like Amerson, the Raiders could axe the big cornerback with no dead money and he wasn’t particularly effective for most of this past season.
- TJ Carrie is slated to test the free agent market (and good on him for doing so) meaning if he along with Smith are gone, the Raiders cornerback depth chart pre-free agency and pre-draft reads: Gareon Conley, Dexter McDonald and Antonio Hamilton. That trio isn’t particularly inspiring.
- Carrie’s versatility (playing outside, slot and even safety) is going to draw team’s interest. Likeliest scenario: Carries tests free agent waters, gets offers, Raiders see if they are willing to match and either provide their own deal or simply move on.
- Malcolm Butler is excommunicado with the New England Patriots and the talented cornerback hits the free agency market off a very strange benching in the Super Bowl. Should Oakland kick the Butler tires? Sure. The CB talent is atrocious, regardless if the reports of Butler smoking pot and being a nuisance are true.
- Former Raiders offensive line coach Mike Tice hinted he’s contemplating retirement and told a Minneapolis radio station “players not longer want to be coached”. Was that a shot across the Raiders bow? Strange, no? He had elite talent in Oakland, but it’s the player’s burden?
- If the above bullet is true, not listening isn’t going to fly against new OL boss Tom Cable. “Cable Bomaye!” may break your jaw for not taking in his coaching. (I’m only half joking).
- There’s a report the Raiders are going to give wide receiver Michael Crabtree the heave-ho if he doesn’t restructure his deal. He carries a $7 million base salary (Spotrac) this coming season, but Oakland doesn’t have the best of talent/depth at the position.
- Bruce Irvin is another high-priced player with a $8 million base salary. I believe he sticks. It’s difficult for a team to replace 15 sacks (past two seasons combined), especially an Oakland squad starved for pass rush.
- The Raiders biggest in-house free agency decision will come with NaVorro Bowman. The veteran middle linebackers proved he can still be an effective every-down Mike in the league. And the Raiders don’t have a player of his caliber on the roster currently. Marques Lee remains a work-in-progress, despite his promise.
- I’d love to see what Denico Autry can do under new defensive line coach Mike Trgovac. But like Carrie, Autry is going to draw interest on the market. An interior pass rusher will always get a call from interested teams.