As is the nature of the offseason, NFL players will lose their jobs on their respective teams due to the NFL Draft, free agency, and trade market. The Oakland Raiders are no exception to this. In 2019, they’ve molded their roster in the eyes of head coach Jon Gruden; it’s a radical difference than before.
The aftermath of a litany of surprise trades, signings, and a deep draft class should mean that the Raiders will have tough decisions to make about their opening day 53-man roster. Because of that, players will get cut, and these three are no exception. Actually, they are who could go first.
3. Kyle Wilbur, Linebacker
Kyle Wilbur didn’t come to Oakland to start. Just last offseason, the Raiders inked a two-year, $2.75 million contract for him to be their special teams ace. Though he did just that, there are little guarantees in both his contract and the depth chart that signify Wilbur’s place on the team for the future.
The Raiders weren’t active in the draft adding special team players, but they did add a few notable, athletic prospects that will likely play on the third-team next year. Those names include Quinton Bell and Te’Von Coney, a seventh-round pick and an undrafted free agent. Both are defensive prospects with high upside and have proven to be athletic in the past.
Outside of special teams, the linebacker position is just too cramped for Wilbur to find a place. Currently, Tahir Whitehead, Marquel Lee, Brandon Marshall, and Vontaze Burfict are in front of him, and so could Coney, as many predicted him to be gone by the fifth round. That’s a tough rotation to crack.
2. Daryl Worley, Cornerback
Like Wilbur, Worley was brought over last season. Unlike Wilbur, many expected the cornerback to play meaningful snaps and solidify his future standing in the NFL. But, after having a bit of a rough season, Worley could be on his way out. That notion is even more true after considering that the Raiders drafted two highly touted cornerbacks in the draft.
Worley struggled mightily in his first season as a Raider. In 10 games (nine starts), he tallied 33 total tackles, seven pass deflections, and an interception. Pro Football Focus then graded his season at a lowly 55.6, which ranks him as the 106th best cornerback in the NFL.
The cornerback has also dealt with off-the-field issues. Though the Raiders did give him a second-round tender before free agency started, expect Worley to not be on the Oakland Raiders by the time the season kicks off. The team’s drafting of two cornerbacks, signing of Nevin Lawson, and already young group shows why.
1. DeAndre Washington, Running Back
If the Raiders’ drafting of Josh Jacobs and re-signing of Doug Martin signifies anything, it’s that the team doesn’t trust their backend running talent much. This could spell the end of the either DeAndre Washington or Chris Warren’s tenure with the Raiders. But, because of Jalen Richard’s re-signing, Washington looks like the better fit to be gone due to his lack of production and similarities to other backs.
Behind Marshawn Lynch, Martin, and Richard, Washington struggled in 2018. He had just 124 scrimmage yards and no touchdowns on 31 touches — all three the lowest of his career. In 2019, we can expect that same low usage rate from the Raiders. They now boast a younger core that is waiting to receive snaps.
Washington could either be trade bait or a cap casualty. Though he’s not a bell-cow back, or close to it, he’s a solid third-down player that can benefit from a change of scenery. But, if the Raiders do get an offer for him, don’t expect it to be much.