Here’s an interesting wrinkle in all the new drama about the Raiders’ suddenly crowded tight end room.
Raiders also fully guaranteed the $6 million base in CB Eli Apple's one-year deal, and gave him $500K in play-time incentives.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 23, 2020
Reality is that guaranteed $$ = both will be on the roster. https://t.co/6B61YJ213O
Yes, Mr. Breer is correct. The fact that Jason Witten’s one-year deal includes $3.5 million in guaranteed money essentially guarantees the former Dallas Cowboys’ star will be on the Raiders’ 53-man roster this September.
It’s a fascinating aspect of an interesting storyline.
It was a surprise when the Raiders’ added Witten, who turns 38 on May 6, last week because they already had three tight ends in Darren Waller, Foster Moreau and Derek Carrier. Saturday, the plot thickened when the Raiders signed veteran Nick O’Leary.
Most NFL teams keep three tight ends. But the Raiders now have five tight ends an all are capable of making the roster.
Something is going to have to give. It’s been speculated, by me included, that Carrier, Witten and O’Leary are all not sure things to make the roster. Well, this contract information takes Witten out of that scenario. He’s in.
Count Waller, Moreau and Witten in. Thus, Carrier and O’Leary, who play similar blocking roles, are both likely on the bubble.
There is one fluid situation that could affect the early regular-season roster. Moreau suffered a knee injury in December and perhaps he won’t be ready for the start of the regular season.
This is what Raiders’ coach Jon Gruden said after Moreau was hurt last season:
“Knowing Foster, I don’t believe it will be anything that will keep him out of next year but I’m not going to make any predictions. It’s a tough injury, he’s got a lot of rehab ahead and I can’t compliment the job that he did enough. He came in here as a rookie and played good football for us and he’s going to be a big part of the Raiders future.”
Regardless of any other intrigue at the position, his contract clearly indicates Witten will be a Las Vegas Raider this season.