Five Oakland Raiders on the roster fringe
By Austin Gayle
Dec 28, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos tight end Virgil Green (85) makes a catch in front of Oakland Raiders defensive back Ras-I Dowling (36) for a touchdown in the fourth quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Raiders 47-14. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
During the offseason Oakland signed former Philadelphia Eagles safety Nate Allen to four-year, $23 million contract, as he is expected to assume the starting strong safety role opposite of Charles Woodson in 2015. Allen (27) has accumulated 324 combined tackles, four sacks, and 10 interceptions in his five-year career with the Philadelphia Eagles. At 6’1″, 210 pounds Allen is a good-sized safety that makes his presence known in the box, as he should make an instant impact for the Raiders in the run game.
Oakland also chose to resign Restricted Free Agent safety Brandian Ross to a one-year deal worth over $1 million.
Unfortunately, these two offseason moves by the Raiders will make it difficult for them to hold onto possibly multiple veteran defensive backs on the roster, one of which will include Ras-I Dowling.
Former 2011 second-round pick Dowling has played in just 12 games in his three-year NFL career, while he has accumulated just 11 combined tackles and one pass defection, according to ESPN.com.
Dowling (27) little in-game experience and his time in the NFL is running out, as his potential to develop into the player he was projected to be coming out of the University of Virginia has dried up. He shouldn’t be the only veteran defensive back to fall victim to Oakland’s decision to lean towards youthful projects with potential, but his progress over the last couple seasons is simply not enough for him to secure a roster spot in 2015.
Next: Fringe Players: Tony Bergstrom