The Raiders final 53 man roster has finally been released. Many names on the list are more glaring than others. With the release of both veterans Karl Joseph and John Brown, this can only mean a couple of things.
John Brown’s Release
With the release of John Brown, we as Raiders fans should be happy. While John Brown is a great player and could have been an asset for the team his release is a good sign for the future. Bryan Edwards shined in the offseason. Many reporters posted videos of him making huge catches while being blanketed by the DB. Not only that he also showed the ability to beat DBs.
In the past, this wouldn’t be exciting or mean much. However, the Raiders secondary has looked much improved meaning more competition for our young wide receiver core.
His release also means that Henry Ruggs made strides this offseason. Throughout training camp, reports came out about his improved route running and his increase in muscle. Even Brown himself showed praise for how much better he looked versus last year.
So to put his release nice, short, and sweet it shows that our receivers are willing to put in the work to earn their playing time and that they have achieved that.
Karl Joseph’s Release
I’ll be honest I was surprised and upset about the announcement of his release. Similar to the release of John Brown we fans should find some relief in this. His release could mean a couple of things. First, and what I’m hopeful for, it shows Johnathan Abram has improved. In my experience, I have had a love-hate relationship with Abram. I love when he makes big plays and hits the ball carrier like a truck. But I hate that he has played recklessly resulting in bad penalties and free touchdowns.
His release could also be as simple as him not fitting the scheme. Gus Bradley runs a Cover 3 scheme and in sub-packages will put the strong safety in the box. In the past, these safeties have been big players and have hit hard i.e Derwin James and Kam Chancellor. Joseph only checks one of those boxes. On the other hand, Abram checks both of those boxes.
Now, this begs the question who backs up Johnathan Abram? Tyree Gillespie saw limited snaps in both the preseason and training camp. Divine Deablo is in the same boat and is currently listed as a linebacker. I would watch for the Raiders to make another move either before the season starts or in the first few weeks.
I’ll be honest the possible signings at safety are not super flashy but could be fairly good fits.
Tre Boston played in Bradley’s scheme for a season and played well in it. During the 2017 season, he had a total of 69 total tackles, eight pass deflections, and five interceptions. In a 2018 Boltbeat article Boston also said the Chargers viewed him as a strong safety. He fits the measurables of a Gus Bradley Strong Safety, over six feet tall and 200+ pounds. With Boston now being 29 years old we could see him come in with a one-year to a two-year deal.
The other player to watch for is Jarrod Wilson. Wilson isn’t listed as a strong safety but he does have the measurables standing at 6 feet, 2 inches, and weighing 210 pounds. Wilson was also with Bradley in Jacksonville during the 2016 season. While he didn’t see much playing time he is still someone that has experienced the scheme. Tre could see a similar contract situation being a one-year prove-it deal that we have seen the Raiders do so often in the past.
Of course, other players didn’t make the final 53, but these two were the most surprising. After just signing with the team this offseason we as fans would have expected them to make an impact. Instead, both players beat out by our team’s young talent which should be seen as a blessing.
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Until next time.