The preseason is almost over for the Las Vegas Raiders. The real games are just around the corner. With all that joy also comes some bad news for some players who will be cut. Every year there are some surprise cuts, but that’s how it goes in the league. Just a few months ago, there were several “locks” on this roster. Some of them might be on the outside looking in real soon.
Many of the Silver and Black will essentially have a final audition tonight versus the New England Patriots. It will be their last chance to show what they can bring to the table, but as we well know, only a few will make the final roster. Here are three “bubble” players who could be on their way out next week.
What is the fate of Alex Leatherwood?
The rumors have him leaving. Teams may not trade for him knowing the Raiders may let him go, so they’ll sit and wait. The former first-round pick was considered a substantial reach on draft day, and those words appear more accurate by the day. His play has been bad to the point of being pulled early in the game against the Miami Dolphins. Reviews of his offseason work seemed positive, but once the whistle blew for the preseason, the play regressed. It’s a surprise because it’s only Year 2, but it appears Josh McDaniels wants to shed all the bad right away and not hesitate. It’s a surprise at how fast it’s come, but not when you’ve watched the first three preseason games.
Do the Raiders have enough room for Brandon Bolden?
This one seems more obvious now, but when he was signed, the thought was he’d be a number two or three at least. He had experience with McDaniels’ system and seemed like he would be able to give Josh Jacobs some breaks, but Zamir White and Ameer Abdullah have taken those spots with really good play and seem to have taken the favor. Bolden’s roster spot was once a lock, but in the NFL, nothing is a forgone conclusion until it’s over. Cutting Bolden serves to demonstrate that the Raiders have an abundance of depth. However, it also shows their willingness to keep only those players who will help them win, regardless of previous connections.
Kyle Peko? Remember him?
When Kyle Peko was signed in the offseason, it looked like he would make it. Unfortunately, following his less-than-stellar play in the preseason and with the emergence of some younger players, Peko’s stay with the Raiders could be short-lived. Peko seemed like a lock just a few weeks back, but now he may be expendable. It’s a bit of a surprise with his experience, but improved play and saving money could make him go looking for another place next week.
*Top Photo: Associated Press/Rick Scuteri