EDITOR’S NOTE: The Las Vegas Raiders traded Trent Brown to the New England Patriots after the article was written.
The Las Vegas Raiders are leaving no stone unturned in their effort to purge their roster. It all started with wide receiver Tyrell Williams. They then moved on from guards Richie Incognito and Gabe Jackson. Defensive back Lamarcus Joyner followed and it’s fair to wonder if their right tackle is next.
The Las Vegas Raiders are giving their roster a makeover
It was just a couple of seasons ago that the Raiders had one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. However, injuries struck the unit last season and Incognito played in just two games. On the other hand, Jackson’s performance hasn’t been proportional to the five-year $55 million contract he signed in 2017. Thus, it was not surprising to see Las Vegas give him the boot.
The fact the Raiders needed to free up cap space made the decision to move on from both Jackson and Incognito easy, as they freed up around $15 million in cap space. Add Joyner’s and William’s departure and that’s another $20 million. From a financial standpoint, all these decisions make sense. However, the Raiders can’t just get rid of all their veterans, or can they?
Is Trent Brown next on the chopping block?
If the Raiders want to, they could continue trimming the roster. They could trade Brown and get an additional $14 million. Nevertheless, moving on from the 2019 Pro Bowl nod would feel like overkill. It’s true he wasn’t healthy last year but they already freed up plenty of cap space and can’t leave the cupboard bare. Let’s say Las Vegas moves on from Brown, how will they replace him?
It doesn’t make sense to release Brown just to sign someone else in free agency. Also, the Raiders have a limited amount of draft picks and they may be better off using those to revamp their defense. It’s true the veteran hasn’t been healthy but when he is, he’s one of the best in the league. Betting on him to stay healthy could be risky, but so is thinking the Raiders are going to be better without him.
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Top Photo: Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review Journal