Oakland Raiders May Be Moving On From Marcel Reece


Oakland Raiders Pro Bowl fullback Marcel Reece‘s suspension may spell the end of his time with the Silver and Black.

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The Oakland Raiders announced today that Pro Bowl fullback Marcel Reece has been suspended by the league for four games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances. Reece is ineligible to play in Sunday’s finale against the Chiefs, as well as the first three games of the 2016 season. But by the time those three games next season roll around, Reece may be wearing somebody else’s jersey.

Despite earning his fourth straight Pro Bowl invitation, Reece has never really seemed to find a fit in OC Bill Musgrave‘s offense. His ten rushing attempts are the lowest of his entire career, and his thirty-seven receiving targets are the second lowest of his career outside of his rookie season. And though he’s played – sparingly – in fifteen games this season, his seven starts are also the second lowest of his career since his rookie season.

Even though he’d performed well in very limited action, the writing seemed to be on the wall – the Raiders already seemed to be moving on from Reece. He’d not only found his role in the offense diminished, the team seemed far more devoted to Jamize Olawale – giving him an increased role in the offense as well as a three year contract extension that locks him up through 2018.

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If there wasn’t any doubt about it before, this PED suspension, may have been the final nail in Reece’s coffin with the Raiders.

Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio seemed to confirm the idea that the team was moving on – or was at least prepared to move on – from Reece perhaps without meaning to.

"“He’s not a major part of what we do. He’s a part of what we do, but it’s not like we’re taking out 50 or 60 or 70 percent of our offense when we remove him. We’ll get the next guy up and be ready to roll.”"

Given the fact that Olawale has been taking some snaps away from Reece already this season, it doesn’t seem to be a big leap of logic to think that he may be taking away all of Reece’s snaps next season. Especially since Reece is going to be missing the first three games of the season anyway.

For his part, Reece denies any wrongdoing, putting out his own statement saying that it was a chemical reaction inside of his body after taking a perfectly legal substance that caused the positive test.

"“I have NEVER, and would NEVER, ingest any banned substance that would result in a failed drug test. What I did consume was a natural plant root extract by the name of ‘Umcka,’ which is a completely safe substance that is clearly legal by NFL policy, in terms of being acceptable to consume. What I didn’t know is that this plant root, once ingested in the human body, converts to the substance ‘metylhexanamine,’ which is a banned substance by NFL standards.”"

Given his track record since he came to the Raiders back in 2009, it’s difficult to believe that Reece knowingly took a PED. He’s held himself to the highest standards and has conducted himself with nothing but integrity. Of course, as they say, you just never know about a person. But Reece has more than earned the benefit of the doubt.

That unfortunately, may not be enough to keep Reece in Silver and Black in 2016. According to Spotrac, keeping him will cost the Raiders about three and a half million dollars – which seems a pretty high figure for a player who “isn’t a big part of what they do.”

Especially given the fact that they’ve committed two million a year to Olawale and have been increasing his role while phasing Reece’s out. Cutting Reece will leave a cap hit of less than a million dollars in dead money.

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Reece is a fan favorite and we can hope that this doesn’t spell the end of his time with the team. But at this point, it’s not looking good. If we’ve seen the last of Reece in a Raiders uniform, it’s a terrible way to see him go out.

And we can only wish him the very best moving forward and thank him for what he’s done for this team.