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Raiders News: Barber signed, Ngakoue contract restructured, beat out for Freeman

Las Vegas has been active this morning

NFL: Washington Football Team at Dallas Cowboys
Peyton Barber
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL’s final cutdown deadline might have been on Tuesday but that hasn’t stopped the Las Vegas Raiders from making adjustments to the roster.

Yesterday, it was announced that linebacker KJ Wright will be signing a one-year contract with the Raiders, and today, The Athletic’s Ben Standig reported that the team is adding running back Peyton Barber off of the Washington Football Team’s practice squad.

Barber is a six-year veteran who spent the first four years of his career in Tampa Bay and last season in Washington. The Football Team let him go in favor of undrafted rookie free agent, Jaret Patterson.

Most fans might recognize Barber from his 2018 campaign, where he started every game for the Buccaneers and had 963 total yards and six total touchdowns. However, he’s never eclipsed more than 600 total yards outside of that season and has 2,606 total yards and 21 total touchdowns in his career.

Signing Barber to the active roster is a bit of a surprising move. Las Vegas did put Jalen Richard on injured reserve so there was a need for a third running back, but undrafted free agent Trey Ragas had played well in the preseason. Bringing in the veteran back likely means the coaching staff doesn’t think the rookie is ready to take on the third running back role.

Field Yates of ESPN reported that the Raiders also put a waiver claim in for former Denver Broncos’ rusher Royce Freeman. The Panthers put in a claim for him too and had priority over the Raiders, so Freeman is headed to Carolina, but obviously, the coaching staff was looking for someone other than Ragas to fill the third spot on the depth chart.

Ragas and fellow undrafted free agent B.J. Emmons, are both listed on the Raiders’ practice squad, bringing the team’s running back total up to six.

Going after Freeman wasn’t the only news Yates shared about the Silver and Black this morning. He tweeted that the organization converted $12 million of Yannick Ngakoue’s salary into a signing bonus and added three void years to the contract, creating $8 million of cap space.

The extra space was certainly needed as Las Vegas was over the cap at one point this week and that was before Wright’s signing was reported. Now, the team can bring in the veteran linebacker and should have some breathing room in case they want to make any other additions down the road.