Seven Raiders players who may not make it to Las Vegas
LB Tahir Whitehead
It’s not often that the team leader in tackles gets the ax but in this case, linebacker Tahir Whitehead brings little else to the position. Whitehead has been a strong run defender for the Raiders in his brief tenure but he has always struggled in pass coverage and 2019 was no different.
In a league that is increasingly focused on spreading the ball around through the air the Raiders need a linebacker that can cover tight ends and running backs from sideline to sideline, and in many cases cover receivers as well. Whitehead simply does not have that in his toolkit and asking that of him only sets him up for failure.
While he is not technically a free agent, the Raiders would save $6.5 million against the cap by releasing Whitehead and though they are not pressed for cash that money could be used elsewhere. Perhaps towards signing a linebacker that is better suited for the modern era of the NFL.
The only scenario that could see Whitehead joining the Raiders in Las Vegas is if they strike out on their free agent targets and decide that he would be an improvement over whoever is left on the market. If the Raiders come in to 2020 with him still manning the middle of the defense then we can expect more of the same poor showing from the defense.