Raiders likely to move on from Gabe Jackson this offseason

Raiders, Gabe Jackson (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Raiders, Gabe Jackson (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

The Las Vegas Raiders will likely be moving on from veteran offensive guard Gabe Jackson in the offseason in an effort to save cap space.

The Las Vegas Raiders will be making some changes this offseason as the franchise prepares for their move to a new city. And one of those changes could very well involve offensive lineman Gabe Jackson.

Jackson was originally drafted in the third round back in 2014 and it didn’t take long for him to become a fixture of the Raiders’ offensive line. In six years, Jackson has started 83 games originally playing left guard before switching to the right side upon the arrival of Kelechi Osemele.

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But after more than half a decade in a Raiders uniform, Jackson could follow the same path that his former teammate Osemele did last offseason.

The Mississippi State product will be 29-years-old in July and is on the third year of a five-year, $55 million contract he signed with the team back in 2017. Jackson has long been one of the more unheralded players in the NFL.

Unfortunately, injury concerns and declining play could force the Raiders’ hand.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Tuesday that Jackson had been involved in trade talks over the past few weeks. This doesn’t come as a surprise given that there have been rumors that the team could look to cut him even if they don’t find a trade partner.

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Jackson is due $9.6 million in 2020 which is a sizable cap hit for a player who has missed eight games over the past two years and finished 2019 with just a 61.8 Pro Football Focus grade. Fortunately for the Raiders, he can be traded or cut without any cap penalty.

Much like Osemele the year prior, the Raiders like Jackson but his injury history, age, and declining production mean that it’s not worth it to keep him around at his current salary.

It also helps that the team has a backup they trust.

Las Vegas already re-signed veteran backup Denzelle Good to a one-year extension back in January and the former Indianapolis Colts lineman has fared well when given the chance.

In two seasons with the Raiders, Good has started eight games — primarily filling in for Jackson at right guard. And he actually outperformed Jackson this past season, albeit in limited action.

Good finished the 2019 season with a respectable 65.1 Pro Football Focus grade which ranked higher than Jackson and is around the league average for starting guards. Perhaps even more appealing, however, is his meager $2 million cap hit.

The Raiders could save a ton of money by either trading or straight-up releasing Jackson and opting to roll with Good next season. Jackson has a better track record of success, but Good has outplayed him recently, been more durable, and is significantly cheaper.

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At this point, it seems likely that Jackson has played his last game with the Raiders. Whether it’s through a trade or by cutting him, don’t expect Gabe Jackson to be making the trip to Las Vegas.