The Las Vegas Raiders are losing a decent number of players early in training camp. Running back Theo Riddick and linebacker James Onwualu have decided to retire after just a week of practice. The team is adding a third player to the list of surprise retirees.
The Raiders announced that offensive tackle Sam Young is retiring.
He’s the most notable player to retire for the team so far. Young started seven games for Trent Brown last season and played well. First-round pick Alex Leatherwood is slated to take over as the team’s starting right tackle but Young could’ve been valuable as a backup for either tackle spot. No reason was given for his decision to retire but he was banged up at points last year and is 34-years-old.
It’s less surprising that he’d decide to retire than it was in Riddick’s and Onwualu’s cases. With Young retiring, the swing tackle spot for the Raiders could be wide open.
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Mike Mayock Is Confident in Raiders’ Offensive Line Decisions
The Raiders’ offensive line has been a major talking point this offseason. The team traded away three Pro Bowl-level players in Gabe Jackson, Rodney Hudson and Trent Brown. Those three will be replaced with Andre James, Leatherwood and either Denzelle Good or John Simpson. The offensive line is set to be much cheaper and younger. While many believe that’s a problem, Raiders general manager Mike Mayock believes the team got ahead of a potential problem.
“At a certain point, the skill set is going to decline,” Mayock said last month, via the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “It’s inevitable, especially with offensive linemen. This is why there are certain teams around the league that I think are so good, because they’re consistent and when they move on from players they typically do it a year early rather than a year late.”
Hudson, Jackson and Brown had all dealt with injury issues over the last couple of years. They were also very expensive. The Raiders took a beating for the moves but it could end up making the team much better as a whole.
Richie Incognito Is the 1 Old Guy Left
What many forget to mention when talking about the Raiders’ offensive line is that they still have Richie Incognito. The 38-year-old is still playing at a very high level despite his age. With Hudson gone, Incognito has taken over as the leader of the offensive line.
“I’ve had the fortunate ability to sit behind Rodney and let Rod lead and kind of do my thing and be a leader but hey Rod’s the guy. Now that’s it. I’m the guy,” Incognito said Monday. “I’m the guy that is going to keep these guys going.
“I love playing this game. I got a ton of passion playing this game. That is why I’m this old playing the game. I love it. I love the grind and love being here in camp. I love working and love getting better. Now it’s our time.”
Incognito knows there’s a lot of pressure on the offensive line but is confident the
“We got a young group and a lot of eyes on us and a lot of scrutiny, but it’s our time to shine,” Incognito said.