It’s been a bloody Saturday for the Las Vegas Raiders as they’ve had to make some brutal cuts to their roster. One player who looked like he had a shot to make the roster was linebacker Kyle Emanuel. The former Los Angeles Charger has a good amount of starting experience and seemed like a good fit. However, the team is letting him go, according to Anthony Galaviz of the Fresno Bee.
#Raiders released LB Kyle Emanuel, per source.
— Anthony Galaviz (@agalaviz_TheBee) September 5, 2020
The move was a bit of a surprise due to the fact that the Raiders don’t have great depth at linebacker. It appears the decision to trade for Raekwon McMillan sealed Emanuel’s fate. This is the second year in a row the Raiders brought in a rival’s former linebacker and let him go before the season started.
Emanuel Came out of Retirement to Play for Raiders
The most unfortunate part of Emanuel getting cut is that he just recently came out of retirement. He missed all of last season but decided to come back. He’s only 29 so there should be plenty of juice left in the tank.
Emanuel reportedly had a number of suitors when it was revealed he wanted to come out of retirement. He decided to sign with the Raiders because he believed he could win with them. Galaviz mentioned the practice squad as a possibility but it’s highly unlikely a veteran like him accepts a position like that. He’ll probably find a new team at some point this season.
Follow the Heavy on Las Vegas Raiders Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Raiders Seem Happy at Linebacker
Despite Emanuel seeming like a fit, the Raiders didn’t really need help at the top of their lineup. The team spent big money to bring Nick Kwiatkoski and Cory Littleton this offseason and they’re going to see most of the snaps. Jon Gruden is hyped about his linebackers this year.
“We love Kwiatkoski, what he brings to our team – his ability to find the ball and get us lined up, in and out of good defenses, is a real ingredient that we need,” Gruden said recently. “And Littleton, as you know, is an underneath coverage linebacker who is exceptional. And we’re going to need that against McCaffrey, and [New Orleans Saints running back Alvin] Kamara and some of these beasts that we’re going to see in our division.
“So, it’s good. Nick Morrow has improved and we think the addition of McMillan will give us some depth and versatility that is something that, obviously, we feel we need.”
The Raiders have been really bad at linebacker for years and they almost completely overhauled the group for 2020. Morrow looks like he’ll be the only returning linebacker from last season. That’s a good thing as the team has been desperate to improve on defense for years. There are still some red flags on the defense but things look to be shaping up nicely for the team. Cutting a player of Emanuel’s caliber wouldn’t have been a possibility for the Raiders in previous years.