Raiders Shockingly Release 3-Time Pro Bowler: Report

rodney hudson

Getty Rodney Hudson hugging Devontae Booker.

The Las Vegas Raiders have already pulled off some surprising moves this offseason but this latest news takes the cake. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, starting center Rodney Hudson will be getting released.

To this move is a shocker is an understatement. Hudson has arguably been the team’s best player for a few years now. He’s a three-time Pro Bowler and many would argue that he is the best center in the NFL. Not only that, he’s a perennial team captain and one of the team’s best leaders.

Hudson was certainly compensated for being one of the best players at his position. He was set to have a cap hit of over $14 million this upcoming season. It’s clear the Raiders believe they’ll be fine at the position without investing too heavily into it. The team obviously has their reasons for letting Hudson go but it will certainly be frustrating for fans. He’s been one of the most reliable players on the team and has played through serious injuries. He’ll definitely land on his feet as he’s still one of the best players in the NFL.

UPDATE: According to former NFL quarterback Mark Sanchez, Hudson requested to be released. Perhaps only make the playoffs once in six seasons got the best of him.

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Hudson Will Cost the Raiders Dead Money

If Hudson didn’t have any dead cap hit, the Raiders could justify cutting him and then signing a star on defense. However, he’s going to cost the team almost $2 million in cap space.

As Reed pointed out above, the team would have a far bigger cap hit if they decided to let him go after next season. That’s all fine and good but Hudson has shown no signs of slowing down and is the farthest thing from an issue in the locker room. The Raiders better be cooking up something big as good teams don’t typically move on from their best players for no reason.

Raiders Overhauling Offensive Line

With Hudson reportedly off the books, the Raiders’ offensive line could look completely different in 2020. Trent Brown was traded, Richie Incognito released and Gabe Jackson is not expected to return to the team. That will leave only left tackle Kolton Miller as a returning starter.

The Raiders’ offense was not an issue last season so it’s somewhat perplexing they’d completely overhaul their offensive line. According to The Athletic’s Vic Tafur, the team is really high on backup center Andre James. Perhaps they think he’s good enough to start and cost the team next to nothing.

It’s clear that Jon Gruden is understanding that he’s made some big mistakes. It’s still early in free agency but perhaps he knows that he can’t spend so much money on offense. However, a good offensive line a very important. The team had a terrible offensive line in Gruden’s first year back in 2018. They only won four games all season. Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock have to be preparing for something big if they’re willing to get rid of a beloved player like Hudson.

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