As NFL teams wipe salaries off the books to slide under the base salary-cap threshold, the Las Vegas Raiders’ first roster domino fell Thursday.
During the 2019 offseason, the Raiders signed Williams to a four-year, $44.4 million deal. In his first year with the club, he battled plantar fasciitis in both feet but only missed two games. Yet the 29-year-old showed promising signs, hauling in 42 passes for 651 yards and six touchdowns despite his nagging foot injury.
Once Vegas selected Henry Ruggs III, and especially Bryan Edwards in the 2020 draft, Williams’ future seemed uncertain. The latter projects to play the perimeter ‘X’ receiver position in head coach Jon Gruden’s offense, which would make Williams expendable.
Before Week 1 of this past campaign, Vegas placed Williams on season-ending injured reserve because of a torn labrum. With only $1 million in dead money left in the remaining two years of his contract, the Raiders chose to release him and recoup $10.6 million. They’re still $8.3 million over the $180.5 million salary-cap limit.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter expects the team salary cap numbers to settle between $180-181 million. With that estimate in mind, the Raiders will need to part ways with more players to make room for free-agent veterans on the defensive side of the ball.
We’ll rank the players most likely to be cut or traded with their cap numbers for the projected move.