The Las Vegas Raiders are currently in the red and in need of salary cap relief for the 2021 season. Releasing a few players would help them achieve that end goal without any repercussions.
What is the team’s current cap situation?
The Raiders are $7.622 million over the 2021 salary cap and will need to make some moves to open space. They will need $10 million in cap space to sign next year’s rookie class. That’s $17.622 million in cap space they will need.
Moreover, if they want to re-sign Nelson Agholor or add any potential free agents, they will need more than that and while they could restructure some contracts, parting ways with these five players that haven’t contributed much in 2020 makes sense.
The clear-cut candidates to get the boot
1. Tyrell Williams, wide receiver
This one may be the most logical one since Tyrell Williams has been dealing with injuries throughout his tenure with the Silver and Black. He was hindered by plantar fasciitis in 2019 and suffered a torn labrum before the 2020 season started. Although he scored a touchdown in five consecutive games last season, he hasn’t been much of a factor since then. Releasing would save this Las Vegas team $11.6 million in cap money.
2. Lamarcus Joyner, defensive back
The Raiders expected Lamarcus Joyner to have the same impact he had with the Los Angeles Rams. Nevertheless, the Florida State standout has been a non-factor in his two-year tenure with the team. While some of Joyner’s struggles may have been due to the former defensive coordinator Paul Guenther’s inadequate scheme, the team isn’t getting enough returns from the four-year $42 million contract they gave him in 2019. If they release him, they could get $8.7 million back in cap space in 2021 with only $2.75 million in dead money.
3. Richie Incognito, guard
There’s no doubt Richie Incognito’s presence had a positive presence in the Raiders’ offensive line in 2019. However, he missed most of the 2020 season and he’ll be 38 in 2021. It’s uncertain how much gas he has left in the tank, and the team held the fort without him this year. The team’s brass could part ways with him and save $6.35 million in 2021.
By releasing these three, the Raiders would open $26.55 million in cap space. Keep in mind none of these players, with the exception of Joyner, would have a dead cap hit. If this Las Vegas team still wants more space, which is likely, they could continue with these two.
These two Raiders could get the boot too
4. Gabe Jackson, right guard
When the Raiders gave Gabe Jackson a five-year $55 million deal, they projected he would turn into one of the best guards in the NFL. Looking at his performance in the last four seasons, it’s fair to say that didn’t happen and the team’s brass can’t justify paying him $9.6 million in 2021.
The Mississippi State product isn’t necessarily bad, but his production isn’t proportional to his deal. He’s the seventh-best paid guard in the NFL, but only the 44th in Pro Football Focus’ rankings. By parting ways with him, Las Vegas could have almost $10 million in cap space available.
5. Jalen Richard, running back
Running back Jalen Richard has been an asset for the Raiders in the passing game. He thrives in pass blocking and has shown the ability to catch the ball well. However, his production has been minimal during his tenure with the Silver and Black. In his five-year career, he’s racked up 255 carries for 1,293 yards and four touchdowns.
Moreover, he has hauled in 179 receptions for 1,518 yards and three touchdowns. While the Raiders are better off with him on the roster, they could find a less expensive alternative to fill his role in the draft. He’s set to count $3.5 million against the cap, and the team could release him without a dead cap hit.
There are other players the Raiders could cut and others whose contract may be worth revising. However, parting ways with these five would help the Silver and Black get out of the red and achieve financial health.
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All cap figures per Over the Cap