On, Wednesday, news came down that the Las Vegas Raiders are expected to released their longest-tenured offensive lineman, Gabe Jackson per Josina Anderson. Jackson, who was drafted in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft, was one of two remaining players still on the roster.
In 2017, Jackson signed a 5 year, $55 million contract, and was slated to make $9.6 million in 2021.
Jackson, who was a starter in 2020, has had his share of injuries in the past, is coming off of a solid year in which he was able to remain healthy for the full season. He was a key for an offensive line that was plagued by injury, but with cap issues this offseason, the Raiders made him one of the tough cuts that are necessary.
What does this mean for the Raiders’ offensive line?
The Raiders have a few key decisions to make offensively, as Richie Incognito (who will be 38 in July) is slated to return for another year after missing a majority of the season after a foot injury that required surgery. Free Agent Denzelle Good, who played exceptionally well in both Trent Brown‘s absence at right tackle, and Richie Incognito’s absence at left guard, looks to be a key target to re-sign and return to take over the right guard vacancy as second-year man, John Simpson learns behind them.
While Jackson wasn’t the first domino to fall in the Raiders cap clearing purge, and certainly will not be the last, he was a player that some thought may be retained. Jackson’s large contract and injury history were the likely driving catalysts in his release.
The Raiders may not be done making moves on the offensive line, as they look to improve defensively and remain a top-10 offensive unit. Trent Brown is a name to keep an eye on, as he also holds a big cap number, and has only appeared in half of the Raiders’ games over the last two seasons.