Reviews out of Las Vegas Raiders training camp have been really good so far but that can’t be said for every player. One player who should be very concerned right now is defensive end Clelin Ferrell. The No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft has missed most of training camp with an undisclosed injury.
Considering the Raiders recently declined the fifth-year option on his rookie contract, he needs a big season if he hopes to get paid again. There was hope that new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham could help get him over the hump but that might not happen. He’s missing valuable practice time under a new coaching staff. There are other players on the field showing what they can do. The new coaches have no allegiance to Ferrell so he had to win them over with his skill.
Pro Football Focus’ Doug Kyed recently put together a list of the biggest risers and fallers of training camp. Ferrell was among the biggest fallers.
“The Raiders declined Ferrell’s fifth-year option before the season, and now he hasn’t practiced since July 27. Not a great start to Ferrell’s fourth NFL season under new leadership in Las Vegas,” Kyed wrote.
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Ferrell Might Not Even Make Roster
Despite the Raiders declining the fifth year on his contract earlier in the offseason, he was still supposed to be on the team for Year 4. That might not be a guarantee anymore. The fact that he’s been missing practice won’t help his chances of making the roster. The Athletic’s Vic Tafur even previously stated that Ferrell is “facing an uphill battle to make the roster.”
That would suggest that it’s more likely that Ferrell gets cut than make the team. Cutting him makes little sense as he’s a dead cap hit of almost $10 million if he’s cut. The Raiders would get no financial benefit from cutting him. They’d be much better off trying to see if they can trade him if they don’t plan for him to be on the roster.
Would a Team Trade for Ferrell?
If Ferrell gets cut, he’ll certainly get another chance. He was highly touted coming out of Clemson and doesn’t have concerns off the field. A fresh start might actually be what’s best for him as things clearly aren’t working out in Las Vegas. That said, it doesn’t make much sense for the Raiders to cut him outright with how much dead cap he would leave.
The Raiders should be looking into possible trade suitors. They wouldn’t get a great return. Probably nothing better than a fifth-round pick. That’d still be better than losing the former No. 4 overall pick for nothing. Ferrell could still be a solid player once he’s able to shed the pressure of being a top pick. While things are looking grim for the defensive, this could be a win-win situation. If he stays in Las Vegas, then he gets to play for a contender and a chance to redeem himself. If he gets cut or traded, he has a chance for a fresh start.
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