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The Las Vegas Raiders reportedly released safety Johnathan Abram on Tuesday, according to the NFL Network Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero.
According to Rapoport, the Raiders bought Abram before the trade deadline but found no suitors.
The move doesn’t come as a major shock, as the former first-round pick had fallen out of favor in Las Vegas.
Anthony V. Staley @antwanstaley
If it was 25-30 years ago, Abram would be fine. These days you need versatile safeties to cover multiple types of players and that’s definitely not the case. https://t.co/CKgok7u0BT
Tashan reed @advice
#Raiders has tried and failed to trade Abram since this summer. And, after the trade deadline passed without a deal, he played 22 snaps against the Saints, a season-low, and was on the pitch for just 32 snaps against the Jaguars. Now he is gone.
He’s also another recent first-round selection that didn’t quite do well for the Raiders, another indictment from the Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock era:
Ari Meyrov @MySportsUpdate
#Raiders 2019-2021 first-round picks:
2021: Alex Leatherwood: Cup
2020: Henry Ruggs III: Cup
2020: Damon Arnette: Cup
2019: Johnathan Abram: Cup
2019: Josh Jacobs: 5th year refused.
2019: Clelin Ferrell: 5th year declined.
Josh Dubow @JoshDubowAP
Here is what the #Raiders removed from their 3 additional first-round picks for Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper:
Johnathan Abram, released in year 4
Damon Arnette, released in year 2
After playing just one game in his rookie season in 2019 due to a torn rotator cuff and labrum, the Mississippi State product posted strong scoring stats in the 2020 seasons (86 tackles, two interceptions) and 2021 (116 tackles, one interception).
The 26-year-old has 48 tackles this year in eight games (six starts).
Abram has had ample opportunity to prove himself this season, with the Raiders playing him all over the fieldsometimes using him in both safety roles, as a linebacker, cornerback, and nickelback.
It appeared that the team was happy with how he handled the variety of roles that were asked of him.
“He’s a smart guy,” said head coach Josh McDaniels told reporters in September. “I mean, we put a lot on him. He was able to handle the duality of the multiple roles we gave him. He’s a big cog in terms of overall defense communication.”
But apparently those feelings changed and her time in Las Vegas came to an end.
He will now hit the waivers and duty about $1 million in base salary for the remainder of the season. The Raiders had turned down the fifth-year option on his rookie contract, so he will be a free agent after the 2022 season.
The Raiders are expected to turn to a starting safety pair of Tre’von Moehrig and Duron Harmon after Abram’s release.