Raiders re-sign Paul Butler again and shake up the tight end position

Raiders (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Raiders (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

The Las Vegas Raiders have re-signed tight end Paul Butler — again.

The Las Vegas Raiders have re-signed a familiar face as part of a pair of roster moves the team announced on Friday. That player is veteran tight end Paul Butler who has had numerous stints with the team over the past couple of years.

In a corresponding move, the Raiders placed veteran free-agent signing Nick O’Leary on the reserve/non-football injury list with what’s being called an “illness.”

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O’Leary was signed by the team back in April but with the presence of Darren Waller, Foster Moreau, Derek Carrier, and the signing of Jason Witten, he was seen as a longshot to make the roster.

The former sixth-round pick has spent some time with the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, and Jacksonville Jaguars, but is also notable for his family lineage. O’Leary is the grandson of golf legend Jack Nicklaus, a fact that many likely didn’t know.

The Raiders will have the opportunity to activate O’Leary from the injured reserve at some point this year if they choose to do so. And with the rule change that allows three players to return from the IR, they’ll have even more of an opportunity.

Now on to Butler, it’s been a wild journey for the former California (PA) standout.

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Butler was originally signed by the team as an undrafted free agent back in May of 2018. Since then, he’s been waived three times, had two different stints on the practice squad, and even spent a brief period of time on the active roster.

The Detroit Lions signed Butler to a reserve/future contract at the end of the season but waived him in April. And while the Raiders originally claimed him off waivers, he was once again waived just a couple of weeks later.

Now, he’s back again. Who knows how long it will actually last, though.

Even if Butler makes it to training camp, he will face an incredible uphill battle when it comes to securing a roster spot.

Waller is obviously a lock and the same could probably be said for Witten. Moreau will undoubtedly be a big part of the offense when he returns from injury, but it’s unclear if he’ll be ready to return from his knee injury that he suffered late last year.

Butler’s best shot at sticking around would be to beat our Carrier and have Moreau begin the year on the PUP list. The veteran Carrier is a stout special-teamer, but if Butler could provide value there as well, the Raiders might opt to roll with the cheaper option.

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Paul Butler’s lengthy journey with the Raiders continues and he’ll be looking to make the final roster in 2020 for the first time in his eventful NFL career.