Dec 8, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) is sacked by Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Kevin Burnett (94) during the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Before full practices begin at Oakland Raiders 2014 Training Camp in Napa there will already be one cut made as on Thursday the team parted ways with veteran linebacker Kevin Burnett in a move that will save the team significant cap space and remove them of a player who already skipped out on voluntary OTA’s early this offseason.
Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle reported the release of Burnett, who had a productive 2013 with Oakland. Burnett had 83 solo tackles and 2.5 sacks last year, but with the emergence of outside linebacker Sio Moore as a rookie and the selection of fifth overall pick Khalil Mack the Raiders were in a position to part ways with Burnett.
Burnett’s release frees up some cap space for the Raiders should the try to make a move that requires bringing on salary, the Raiders shed $3.375 million dollars by cutting the veteran linebacker who the team felt was dispensable with young players needed more playing time.
Expect teams around the league to be interested in bringing Burnett into camp, after all he did get plenty of snaps for the Raiders last season and remained as productive as he was in his previous two seasons while in Oakland. His time with the Raiders was obviously over the minute the team made moves to bring in the best outside linebacker in the draft as the likes of Mack, Moore, Miles Burris and Kaluka Maiava provide far more upside than Burnett who appeared unwilling to accept a lessened role by not reporting to OTA’s. UPDATE: According to Raiders insider Jerry McDonald, Kevin Burnett was never physically cleared to participate in training camp.