Five Oakland Raider Veterans at Risk

In a perfect world, money would grow on trees and teams wouldn’t have to release anyone. They could keep their best players on the payroll until they didn’t feel like playing anymore, and everyone could retire with their favorite team. Unfortunately, this isn’t the face. Money is tight, and you’ve gotta cut the roster down to 53. Here are five Oakland Raider veterans at risk of being cut before the season starts.

Five Oakland Raider Veterans at Risk

Keith McGill

The Oakland Raiders spent their first two picks in this draft on defensive backs, selecting Gareon Conley and Obi Melifonwu. With Conley, Melifonwu, Sean Smith, David Amerson, Reggie Nelson, T.J. Carrie, and Karl Joseph back there, there’s not a ton of room for McGill. McGill was originally drafted to come in and play corner, but he hasn’t really found a home. He had a failed stint at safety, and at this point, the Raiders should consider moving on.

Austin Howard

The Oakland Raiders have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, but that’s not thanks to Austin Howard. Every other member of Oakland’s offensive line had a pro football focus grade of at least 80 last season, but Howard’s didn’t even break 60. With the signing of Marshall Newhouse, and the development of Vadal Alexander, Austin Howard is as good as gone.

EJ Manuel

Fans are worried about what happens to the Oakland Raiders if Derek Carr goes down again. Connor Cook proved he couldn’t get the job done last year, and some fans are desperate for some veteran help. Now, it’s true that Cook was making his first career start, in the playoffs, on the road, against the NFL’s number one defense, with a banged up offensive line, but some people can’t be pleased. Enter EJ Manuel.

Some members of the Raider Nation want a veteran quarterback, and to be fair, that’s what EJ Manuel is. However, there’s just no need. Manuel was most likely brought in as a camp arm, and the Raiders don’t need to carry three quarterbacks when they have so many talented young players on the fringe.

Taiwan Jones

Taiwan Jones has no business on Oakland’s roster anymore. Between Marshawn Lynch, Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington, and Elijah Hood, the Raiders are set at the position. At this point, Jones is basically just a special teams player. If the Raiders choose to release him, and they should, they basically save a little over a million dollars. Even before the Raiders drafted Hood, the writing was on the wall.

Sebastian Janikowski

This is a controversial addition to list. People love Sebastian Janikowski. Seabass has been with the Raider Nation through the good times and the bad. If the Nation had their way, Janikowski would remain a Raider for life.

Unfortunately, there comes a time where business has to come first. And from a business perspective, it makes no sense for the Raider to keep Janikowski around. Seabass’ biggest strength has always been his ability to make field goals from 50 years or beyond. In 2016, he couldn’t do that at all, making only three of his eight attempts from 50 or beyond.

Nobody in the NFL missed more field goals from 50+ than Janikowski, and a half a dozen kickers made more 50+ yard field goals than he did. Time waits for no man, and Janikowski is still just a man. But most importantly, he’s a man that is set to make over $4,000,000 this season. Why pay that much for a position that you could easily pay someone else to do for an eighth of that?