Gabe Jackson has been a constant on the Raiders offensive line for years now, but with the signing of Denzelle Good this past week, will the Raiders move on?
Gabe Jackson was a third round pick of the Oakland Raiders in their solid 2014 NFL Draft, a draft that saw the team select players like Khalil Mack and Derek Carr. After cracking the starting lineup as a rookie, Jackson has been a constant along the Raiders offensive line, and the team rewarded him with a new five-year deal back in 2017.
However, as he enters the 2020 NFL season, Jackson still has yet to make a Pro Bowl, despite having the talent to do so. He has been injured in each of the last two season, and as the team looks to continue to rebuild this roster, he could end up being a salary cap casualty this offseason.
Based on Spotrac, Jackson will cost nothing against the salary cap if the Raiders decide to part ways with him, and will cost nearly $10 million if they keep him. After signing Denzelle Good last week, is there a real chance the team moves on from Jackson this offseason?
Jackson battled through injuries all season long in 2019, starting with the preseason, where he hurt his knee against the Los Angeles Rams in a joint practice session. He did not make his 2019 debut until Week 7, but after that, he was in on every snap for this Raiders offense, and many consider him a Pro Bowl-caliber offensive guard.
The Raiders have already locked up fellow starting guard Richie Incognito on a two-year deal, after the veteran showed he still has a ton left in the tank in his first season with the organization. Jackson and Incognito are a solid tandem, and the Raiders offensive line as a whole is one of the best in football, so it would not make much sense for the team to change things in 2020.
This past week, the Raiders signed Denzelle Good to a one-year deal, bringing back a player who played well in the starting lineup, and is a very solid depth piece. With Jackson carrying such a high price tag, is it possible that the Raiders insert him as the starting right guard in 2020, and move on from Jackson?
The smart thing to do would be for the Raiders to let Jackson return to the team in 2020, and have Good serve in a backup role. As we saw in 2019, the offensive line can be ravaged by injuries on a weekly basis, and while Good played well enough to start this past season, having him as a depth piece makes him much more valuable.