Overall, the Raiders 2019 season surpassed the expectations of most. While the team performed better than expected, there are some players who didn’t exactly live up to expectations, which may lead to some surprise cuts this offseason.
Who can be shown the door?
Tyrell Williams, WR
Coming in first on this list is Tyrell Williams, who signed a four-year, $44 million deal with the Raiders a year ago. The veteran certainly had his bright moments with the team, but carried a lot of frustrating ones alongside those. I think WIlliams deserves a ton of credit for playing through Plantar Fasciitis throughout the second half of the season, an injury most of us would struggle to walk with, and one should factor that in while evaluating the receivers performance.
Williams was signed to be the second receiving option, and I’d expect the Raiders to retain him for that role, with plenty of options to choose a featured receiver this offseason. However, the Raiders will pay $0 in dead money by cutting the veteran. While it makes sense to keep Williams, if they want to save money, getting rid of the receivers $11 million salary is one of the easiest ways.
Lamarcus Joyner, DB
Like Williams, the Raiders signed Joyner to a four-year deal last offseason with the hope he could be a difference maker in their secondary. Joyner didn’t play well enough to deserve the $9 million he received in 2019, and he comes with a hefty $12 million cap hit in 2020.
Personally, I doubt he gets cut as defensive coordinator Paul Geuther has mentioned Joyner was playing out of position last year (why?), so I’d expect Joyner to at least move back to safety before getting cut, especially since he would carry no dead money if cut in 2021.
On the other hand, the Raiders have some serviceable options at safety right now. Jonathan Abram will likely start next year, and it’s very possible Karl Joseph calls Vegas home next fall. Erik Harris had a solid year as well. Joyner would require $8 million in dead cap, but don’t be too surprised if he’s cut.
Gabe Jackson, OL
Jackson has been one of the best linemen in the league since the Raiders drafted him in 2014, but his 2019 campaign was injury filled, and a large cap hit doesn’t do him any favors. It’s undeniable that Jackson, alongside Rodney Hudson, has been huge for this offensive line for years, and it would hurt to see him go.
However, there are valid reasons for cutting ties. Denzel Good looked impressive this year when filling-in for Jackson, so the Raiders would have a good replacement behind him. Jackson is going to make $9.6 million next year, but like Williams, the Raiders wouldn’t owe him anything by releasing him. Jackson has been great for the Raiders and it would be a bit of a shock to see him go, but when considering the situation, the Raiders would have their reasons.
There are definitely going to be some cuts this offseason, as we see Gruden and Mayock create their ideal roster for Vegas. These three players carry the least risk in terms of cutting ties, and there’s a good chance we could see them released this offseason.
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