The Las Vegas Raiders decided that it was no longer worthy to keep Alex Leatherwood on their roster. Last year’s first-round draft pick by then general manager Mike Mayock, Leatherwood, never got going with the Silver and Black. Despite his release, the former Alabama product didn’t have to wait too long for another opportunity.
Following his release by the Raiders, Leatherwood signs with the Bears
Despite an offseason where Leatherwood did his best to get into shape, things didn’t come together. Leatherwood struggled mightily throughout the preseason, and it appeared that the writing was on the wall. Yesterday, it was reported by NFL insiders that general manager Dave Ziegler had tried unsuccessfully to trade Leatherwood to every NFL team, literally. However, once that fell through, he was released outright. In a move that might’ve actually favored Ziegler and the Raiders more, Las Vegas saves nearly $5.9 million in guaranteed money.
As for the Bears, they reportedly were interested in drafting Leatherwood originally. Nevertheless, the Bears went with Justin Fields, trading up land their signal-caller. Leatherwood currently sits behind Reiff Riley and Teven Jenkins, the Bears’ right tackle and guard. What exactly is the long-term plan for Leatherwood? It is likely a developmental role. The lineman clearly showed he wasn’t ready for a starting role, struggling against second and third-teamers.
The case of Leatherwood is an underwhelming one. The previous regime over-drafted him and then decided to stick him in a position he shouldn’t have been playing. Following the mismanagement of Leatherwood, the new Raiders coaching staff probably figured they could fix him. Regrettably, Leatherwood looked visibly defeated during the preseason; he clearly had lost his confidence.
Move Alex Leatherwood to guard, #Bears. Trust me on this lol
— Maurice Moton (@MoeMoton) August 31, 2022
A change of scenery might allow him to hit the restart button. The Bears are in need of potent run-blockers, and more than anything, that’s one area where Leatherwood can still flourish.
*Top Photo: AP Photo/John Locher