There’s no doubt that the Las Vegas Raiders have done some really good things this offseason. Signing Yannick Ngakoue, hiring Gus Bradley and drafting Trevon Moehrig are all looking like they’ll be strong moves. However, they are still prone to some truly baffling decisions.
In a move that nobody saw coming, the Raiders are letting go of linebacker Tanner Muse, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
The 2020 third-round pick hasn’t even played in a game yet after missing his rookie year with a toe injury. Muse was a safety at Clemson but the Raiders wanted him to transition to linebacker. He struggled with that transition last year but was seen taking starter reps throughout training camp. He had some strong moments in the preseason but did struggle in the last game.
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Why Would the Raiders Cut Muse Now?
Cutting Muse is going to get the Raiders beat up online for at least 24 hours. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to cut a former third-round pick who hasn’t even played in a game. There are no character concerns with Muse so the team can’t use that as an excuse.
Now, picking him in the third round was always a bad pick. He projected to be a special teams ace and not much more. He even referred to himself as a “special teams war daddy.” He must’ve looked really bad to defensive coordinator Gus Bradley for them to let him go now. Muse is athletically gifted as he ran a 4.41 40-yard dash at the combine. It simply makes no sense for them to give up on him now considering the investment of a high draft pick. If he ends up clearing waivers, the Raiders almost have to try and get him on the practice squad to at least save a bit of face. However, it’s hard to imagine he does clear waivers as there was probably at least one other team out there that liked him coming out of the draft.
Raiders Waste a Lot of 3rd Round Picks
Muse joins a long list of wasted third-round picks by the Raiders in recent years. In Jon Gruden’s first year with the team, they sent a third-rounder to the Pittsburgh Steelers for wide receiver Martavis Bryant. He had 19 catches for 266 yards and only played in eight games for the team.
The following year, the Raiders sent the Steelers another third-round pick as part of the Antonio Brown trade. Everybody knows how that story ended as Brown never even played for the team.
Last year, the Raiders traded third-round pick Lynn Bowden to the Miami Dolphins after it was clear he wasn’t what they thought he was. He never played a game for Las Vegas. For those keeping track, the Raiders have wasted four third-round picks in three seasons.