The Las Vegas Raiders decided to only keep five wide receivers on their active roster during cuts and even let go of veteran John Brown. The team has typically rolled with six to start the season. They must be confident in the depth they have but will have plenty of options on the practice squad.
The Raiders already retained DJ Turner and Dillon Stoner on the practice squad and are adding another player. According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, the team signed wide receiver David Moore.
Moore is a solid find for the Raiders. He’s spent the last four years with the Seattle Seahawks and caught 35 passes for 417 yards with six touchdowns in 2020. He signed a multi-year deal with the Carolina Panthers in the offseason but they decided to release him during roster cuts. He’s not about to be the Raiders’ No. 1 wide receiver but could be a useful piece off the practice squad. He has 78 catches for 1,163 receiving yards combined over the last three seasons.
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Raiders Relying on Henry Ruggs & Bryan Edwards This Year
With the decision to release Brown, who is a productive veteran with two 1,000+ yard seasons under his belt, the Raiders showed confidence in second-year wide receivers Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards. There was a lot of hype for the two last year but neither had memorable years, especially Edwards, who only had 11 catches.
Las Vegas is banking on the fact that both players will take a major leap in 2021. They were the starters at wide receiver last season and that didn’t work out. For the Raiders to trust them in that position again shows that they must have progressed. The pressure is on Ruggs and Edwards this season. Time will tell how they handle it.
Mike Mayock Explains Why Brown Was Cut
Despite the fact that Brown fell down the depth chart, the Raiders would’ve likely kept him around had he not requested a release. General manager Mike Mayock had a chance to discuss why it is that the veteran didn’t have a spot atop the wide receiver depth chart.
“What happens in camp is that those first three guys, the young wideouts (Henry Ruggs, Bryan Edwards, Hunter Renfrow Renfrow), they need as many reps as they can get,” Mayock said Wednesday. “And then you’ve got John who’s fighting for reps and here comes Zay Jones. And Zay Jones might be in better shape than anybody on our football team. And then you’ve got Willie Snead, who when you use the term ‘savvy veteran’ that’s who you’re talking about. He can play all three positions. God forbid if anything happened to Hunter, he could step in and run that slot position all day long. So, those five guys got the majority of the snaps. And so you’ve got to kind of knock the door down to get your snaps and when you’re not available every day that’s difficult.”
Brown is very good but he does what Ruggs does so he was expendable. He’ll land on his feet quickly in free agency.