Monday, August 8, 2022

The expected Raiders starter is retiring abruptly after taking a pay cut

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The Las Vegas Raiders are chugging along in training camp and many eyes are on the offensive line. The team is largely bringing back the same group that struggled last season. A key player expected to return was offensive guard Denzelle Good, who tore his cruciate ligament in Week 1.

The veteran recovered in time for camp and was set to be one of the start supervisors. Unfortunately, the Raiders can’t count on him. The team announced that they have placed Good on the Reserve/Retired List.

This move comes out of nowhere as Good appeared to be recovering well from his injury. The Raiders clearly had plans for him and he probably would have started with right guard. This certainly comes as a blow to Las Vegas as the offensive line is still their biggest concern. At 31, Good still had enough football in his tank. Before joining the Raiders in 2018, he spent the first four years of his career with the Indianapolis Colts. It remains to be seen what prompted Good’s decision to resign.

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Good’s resignation comes as a surprise given his recent contract restructuring. According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the veteran offensive lineman agreed to a reshuffle that reduced his base salary to just $1.035 million this season from $3.09 million.

Obviously nobody wants to take a pay cut, but it’s odd that they would take one only to retire days later. Perhaps he regretted accepting the cut and didn’t want to play with a salary of $1.035 million. Good is still relatively young and it’s possible he’s considering a return after one season. Regardless, this is not good news for the Raiders and they must now find a replacement.

With Richie Incognito also recently retiring, Good is the second expected guard from last season to retire. It’s a position the Raiders have struggled to find long-term solutions for. There are a few options to replace Good that are already on the list. Lester Cotton has been praised by players and coaches this offseason. According to The Athletic’s Tashan Reed, he was seen taking many snaps of the right guard. Strong contender to take the place here.

Rookie third-round pick Dylan Parham could be an option, but the Raiders don’t seem to know where to put him just yet. He could be considered as a center if Andre James doesn’t improve his game. The team could also decide that 2021 first-round pick Alex Leatherwood isn’t suited to play with proper tackle, so they’re keeping him on right guard. Las Vegas might also go free agency, but there aren’t many great options this late in the off-season. Kyle Long, son of Raiders Hall of Famer Howie Long, is available. He didn’t play last season due to injury but could be a great story given his connections with the team.

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