Raiders Surprisingly Letting Team Captain Walk in Free Agency: Report

josh mcdaniels

Getty Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels.

The Las Vegas Raiders are gearing up for free agency and are already making notable moves. Unfortunately for fans, one of the moves the team has made is to seemingly let a fan-favorite player walk in free agency. Fullback Alec Ingold has embraced the team and its fan base since getting signed as an undrafted free agent in 2019.

He quickly earned the starting fullback spot and was named a team captain for the 2021 season. Despite proving to be one of the NFL’s better fullbacks, the Raiders did not tender Ingold, which means he’ll be free to test free agency, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

Ingold tore his ACL last season so he wasn’t around for the playoff run but he remained a leader. Many teams around the league don’t use fullbacks anymore but the New England Patriots under offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels frequently utilized the position. When he was hired as the Raiders head coach, it was assumed that he’d want to bring Ingold back. It now appears that the team might not use a fullback going forward.

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Ingold Seemingly Says Goodbye to Raider Nation

Just because the Raiders decided not to tender Ingold doesn’t mean they don’t plan to sign him. However, it seems likely the two sides decided to part ways. After the tender news was revealed, Ingold sent a measure on Instagram that simply gave thanks to the Raiders and said “it’s been a pleasure.” It certainly sounded like a goodbye message.

It’s possible that the Raiders still employ a fullback as Sutton Smith is under contract for next season. Perhaps McDaniels would rather use Smith, who is healthy, than rely on Ingold coming off an ACL tear. He would’ve almost certainly been brought back had the Raiders chosen to retain Rich Bisaccia as head coach. With the team moving on, it’s clear that McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler aren’t afraid to let go of popular players in the locker room.

Raiders Players React to News

Another reason it’s safe to say that Ingold’s days in silver and black are numbered is due to the reaction of his teammates. Running backs Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake both reacted to the news. Jacobs expressed being “hurt” while Drake said he would “miss” Ingold.

While nothing is truly confirmed until Ingold signs with a new team, these reactions essentially confirm he won’t be back. Perhaps he takes time in his rehab and remains in free agency when the season starts. That could open the door for him returning down the road. He clearly has a lot of love for the team so an eventual return can’t be ruled out. This is the first unpopular move McDaniels and Ziegler have made so far. They should certainly tread lightly as they don’t want to upset the players on the roster too much before they even have one practice together.

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