Raiders Surprisingly Cut Expected Starter at Cornerback: Report

jon gruden

Getty Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden.

Up until this point, the Las Vegas Raiders haven’t made any overly surprising roster moves. That changed on Monday. According to NFL Network, the team is letting go of veteran cornerback Prince Amukamara.

This move comes as a surprise because Amukamara was expected to be a starter for at least a while. He was coming off of a productive run with a really good Chicago Bears defense. He figured to be a decent upgrade at the position for the Raiders.

There’s been limited media access during training camp and head coach Jon Gruden has been keeping his cards close to the vest. He was recently seen getting burned by wide receiver Hunter Renfrow so perhaps that sealed his fate. Players as good as Amukamara don’t typically become available this close to the season starting so he should get scooped up pretty quickly. He made it clear that he still wants to play this season.

“I spoke to Mike Mayock this morning,” Amukamara said, per ESPN’s Josina Anderson. “He said they like where they’re at with the young guys. I respect him. I still want to play. I’ve played in all systems. I can thrive anywhere.”

Amukamara Move Paves Way for Young CBs

The decision to cut Amukamara pretty much means that the Raiders are happy with Trayvon Mullen and Damon Arnette as the starting cornerbacks. Arnette reportedly looked really good in training camp and perhaps the jump from college football to the NFL won’t be too much for him.

While both young cornerbacks are very talented, the Raiders are taking a massive risk. They face some of the best passing attacks in the NFL this year. Mullen and Arnette aren’t going to have an easy time this year. LaMarcus Joyner seems to be the only veteran cornerback who is a lock to make the roster. The Raiders could feasibly have two rookies and three sophomores on the cornerback depth chart this year. The secondary could make or break this team in 2020.

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Could Raiders Look for Additional CB Help?

Though it’s most likely that Amukamara was cut because the Raiders are confident in their young cornerbacks, it could also mean that the veteran was just bad and the team is going to look for help elsewhere. A trade probably won’t be happening but there are still some strong players on the free-agent market.

Former Titans and Patriots cornerback Logan Ryan is still a free agent. He wants a pretty big payday, which is why he’s still available. He’d be a really strong pickup if he’s willing to lower his asking price. Trumaine Johnson is also an interesting player. He had a solid stint with the Rams and got a massive payday from the Jets when he hit free agency. He ended up being one of the biggest free-agent busts in recent memory. Johnson was benched for poor play and let go after two seasons. There’s no doubt he’s been seriously humbled. Perhaps he could return to form with a change of scenery and a really cheap contract.

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