The new Las Vegas Raiders’ brass has cut as many former first-round picks has they have had game victories since taking over.
On Tuesday, in an unexpected move, the Raiders released safety Johnathan Abram. He was the No. 27 overall pick in the 2019 draft and was the Raiders’ compensation in the Amari Cooper trade with the Dallas Cowboys.
We have waived S Johnathan Abram. pic.twitter.com/yDZxUPk2Ck— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) November 8, 2022
Before the season, the Raiders declined the fifth-year option on Abram and he was to be a free agent after this season. Now, he will be subject to waivers Wednesday and available to every team. If he clears waivers, he will be a free agent. It’s likely Abram will be in another uniform soon. The Raiders reportedly tried to trade Abram before the season and up to the November 1 trade deadline. Because he was cut before his contract ended, he will not be part of the comp pick formula.
Perhaps this was a signal to the locker room that the Raiders’ coaching staff and front office is fed up after an unexpected 2-6 start and that the players are on notice. We will see if more cuts are coming if Las Vegas’ struggles continue.
Abram was always a hard hitter and an earnest player. But he struggled in coverage and he had issues with on-field discipline, often making silly mistakes. Yet, this new staff gave him a chance to establish himself and he started the first six games of the season.
guess Trevor Lawrence didn't think the defender got deep enough pic.twitter.com/8b5UlsV9Yz— Nate Tice (@Nate_Tice) November 7, 2022
But his play time on defense has waned in recent weeks. He played just 32 snaps at Jacksonville. The Raiders are using Duron Harmon and Tre’von Moehrig as the starting safeties. They have Roderic Teamer and Matthias Farley as the backups. Undrafted rookie Isaiah Pola-Mao could be promoted from the practice squad as well.
Abram’s release continuing a troubling trend of blown picks by the previous regime of Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock. Before the season, New Las Vegas leadership cut 2021 first-round pick, tackle Alex Leatherwood. he was claimed by the Chicago Bears.
Raiders picks from the top 3 rounds from 2019-2021 when Mike Mayock (with Gruden) served as GM— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) November 8, 2022
5th year option declined: Clelin Ferrell, Josh Jacobs
Cut/Traded: Johnatan Abram, Trayvon Mullen, Henry Ruggs, Damon Arnette, Lynn Bowden, Bryan Edwards, Tanner Muse, Alex Leatherwood
Now, it’s Abram who is leaving Las Vegas early.