The Las Vegas Raiders continue to shape their roster in the midst of a pandemic. Most recently, the team decided to move on from linebacker Marquel Lee, ending a once-promising tenure.
Despite an altered NFL training camp taking place, roster cuts are still part of the game. The Raiders placed Lee on the physically unable to perform list on July 28, 2020, and later waived him altogether. Vic Tafur confirmed the team’s decision via his Twitter account.
With Marquel Lee waived, that leaves six #Raiders left BG (before Gruden, Jan. 2018) — Derek Carr, Rodney Hudson, Gabe Jackson, Jalen Richard, Nicholas Morrow and Erik Harris.
Backup T David Sharpe (who was released and then brought back) the one survivor from 2017 draft.
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) August 3, 2020
Lee’s release continues to show how terribly Raiders draft practices were before Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock took the reins. As Tafur pointed out, there are now only six players left from the previous regime prior to Gruden’s return. Derek Carr, Gabe Jackson, Jalen Richard, Nicholas Morrow, and Erik Harris. All figure to be contributors in 2020 barring injury.
A Brief Retrospective
As far as Lee’s concerned, there was much optimism regarding his potential. As a fifth-round pick, Lee battled other linebackers such as Ben Heeney and Cory James in camp. After it was all said and done, then-head coach Jack Del Rio named Lee the Raiders starting middle linebacker. After recording two tackles in the season opener in 2017, Lee totaled six combined tackles against the Baltimore Ravens on October 8. Unfortunately, he injured his ankle and then lost the starting job to the newly acquired NaVorro Bowman.
Last year, Lee’s career became riddled with injury so much so he only managed three starts. Lee ends his tenure with the Raiders totaling 65 solo tackles and six tackles for a loss. According to Pro Football Focus, Lee’s 2019 season indicated he was an average linebacker. Grading out at 52.8 overall with a 53.6 grade in coverage. It became clear the Raiders had seen enough after last year despite Lee’s potential. In a revamped linebacker corps it would’ve been unlikely Lee got that much of an opportunity.
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*Top Photo: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports