Raiders who need a strong showing vs Patriots for a roster spot
This one is crucial. Just today, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler took to the air to state the Raiders may cut or trade Leatherwood. Not too long ago, Fowler double-downed on Twitter, stating Leatherwood’s future may be decided by his play against New England. Fowler also stated Cotton’s place as a starter is on the line as well following his struggles against Miami.
Alright – let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. What are the chances Leatherwood gets cut? Close to zero. If the Raiders release Alex Leatherwood, they’re facing an $8 million dead cap hit. Really, it’s counterproductive to do this. The same logic can be applied to Clelin Ferrell, who some belief is a cut candidate, but it just isn’t worth the $10 million cap hit Raiders get slapped with, as opposed to keeping him around for a year.
Back to Leatherwood and his future with the team.
Another reason cutting Leatherwood makes little to no sense is the depth. Swing tackle Brandon Parker quietly went down with an injury, though there’s no confirmed return timetable. Some close to the organization speculate it’s season-ending, albeit nothing can be certain. What we do know – Parker is not available for the time being. That’s more reason to keep Leatherwood around.
On the other side of the coin, a trade is reasonable. Las Vegas would only suffer a dead cap hit of $2 million, and would likely gain an early day-three pick if nothing else. The problem here is, that you hate to see a high draft pick be given up on after one full season plus an extra preseason, especially when there’s no real need to make the move.
Some will point out Leatherwood wasn’t projected to go as early as he did by most outlets, but this was still a virtually unanimous second-round projected player. Whether it’s a player drafted in the first or second round, you hate to give up on them so early.
The Las Vegas Raiders wrap up their 2022 preseason with a matchup against New England, who they just got done practicing with this week.
As for Cotton, we won’t dive into that too much. Yes, the 26-year-old offensive lineman may be at risk to lose his starting job, but it’s just almost impossible to imagine he’s at risk of not making the roster. Really, it’s hard to imagine Leatherwood’s roster spot being in jeopardy, but as the possibility is a trending topic in the NFL world, the second-year Raider is the focus here.