Raiders release 2019 first-round pick in surprise move

The Las Vegas Raiders are releasing fourth-year safety Johnathan Abram, the 27th overall pick of the 2019 NFL draft, according to reports. 

The Raiders declined to pick up the fifth-year option on Abram’s rookie contract in April ahead of the 2022 NFL season, meaning he would have become a free agent in the 2023 offseason.

The struggling Raiders made the surprising move to release Abrams after Las Vegas blew a 17-point lead in their 27-20 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. The Raiders are 2-6 on the season and 0-5 on the road.  

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Abram was selected out of Mississippi State in the first round of the 2019 NFL draft by the Oakland Raiders, who were led by head coach Jon Gruden at the time. 

The 26-year-old played in eight games in black and silver this season, where he’s logged 48 combined tackles and two quarterback hits. Abram started the first six games of the season, but his role reduced recently. He played less than 50% of the team’s defensive snaps in the last two games.

Abram has played in 36 total games during his stint with the Raiders, where he racked up 255 combined tackles and three career interceptions. 

This post appeared first on USA TODAY