There are many things that fall under the breaking news umbrella. However, the Las Vegas Raiders releasing cornerback Prince Amukamara is not one of them.
The deadline for all NFL teams to trim their rosters is looming, more specifically, Sept, 5th. They all need to release players and make a couple of transactions here and there for them to have 53 players. That’s how many players they can carry on their active roster. They can also keep up to 16 players in their practice squad, which they can later use to replenish their active roster.
Although most cuts happen right before the deadline, teams start to purge their rosters as early as one week before the final day. Thus, we aren’t surprised the Raiders decided to parted ways with Amukamara. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the veteran cornerback. On the contrary, he is a solid player that has played for plenty of teams and in different schemes. Pro Football Focus believes he’s the dictionary definition of an average cornerback.
Financially, Amukamara’s release doesn’t affect the Raiders positively or negatively. After all, his cap hit in 2020 was a mere $887,500. Now that he’s off the books, he will have a salary cap hit of just $500,000. The transaction won’t cause much of a loss nor will it provide cap relief. Nevertheless, there will be an impact on the roster that will affect a few players. One directly and two indirectly.
The Raiders have their work cut out for them
Before the Raiders parted ways with Amukamara, the veteran was splitting first-team reps with rookie Damon Arnette. Both corners were vying for Trayvon Mullen’s starting spot, but now that Amukamara is no longer with the team, it’s Arnette’s jobs. He might have done enough to convince team brass he should be the starter moving forward with all the bumps and bruises that come with being a first-year player. Nevin Lawson could take over once he comes back from a one-game suspension he will serve in Week 1. Nonetheless, that would only be feasible if the Ohio State standout were struggling badly.
There are a pair of players that also benefit from Amukamara’s release, sophomore’s Keisean Nixon, and Isaiah Johnson. Had the veteran cornerback stayed with the Raiders, the team’s brass may have had cut either one as the numbers didn’t add up. With Amukamara out of the picture, the Silver and Black will likely carry Mullen, Arnette, Lawson, Nixon, and Johnson. Also, they will keep Lamarcus Joyner and Amik Robertson in the slot, so there will be six in total.
The Raiders must’ve seen enough in their cornerback group for them to do without Amukamara, they are betting on the potential a unit composed mostly of first and second-year players. Things could go either way, but the Silver and Black felt confident enough to release a vested veteran. Let’s trust them on this one.
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