Raiders Cut Johnathan Abram

Las Vegas Raiders safety Johnathan Abram
Las Vegas Raiders safety Johnathan Abram
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Week 9 - The Las Vegas Raiders have officially cut former first-round selection Johnathan Abram, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.  

Abram was drafted 27th overall in the 2019 NFL draft by the Raiders, starting in 34 games over the course of his four years in the league. Abram started six of the eight games he appeared in in 2022, playing 79.3% of the defense's snaps and accruing 48 combined tackles and a pass breakup over the course of the season.

Cutting Abram continues an abysmal stretch of poor first-round selections during the Mike Mayock-Jon Gruden era of the Raiders franchise. Between 2019 and 2021, the Raiders made six selections in the first round. Four of those players--Abram, offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood, wide receiver Henry Ruggs, and cornerback Damon Arnette--were waived before the completion of their rookie deal, with Ruggs and Arnette being arrested prior to their waiving. Of the two players who were not outright waived--edge rusher Clelin Ferrell and running back Josh Jacobs--both had their fifth-year options declined by the Raiders.


16 comments, Last at 10 Nov 2022, 10:37am

#1 by MJK // Nov 08, 2022 - 5:17pm

So... is Josh McDaniels doing a terrible job because every game is close but he still manages to lose, or is he doing an amazing job because every game is close despite a roster put together by Mayock-Gruden?

Points: 0

#2 by KnotMe // Nov 08, 2022 - 7:05pm

Well, they were a 10 win team last year with the interim coach and...are not on that pace this year, so probably the former?

Points: 0

#5 by MaineRaider // Nov 08, 2022 - 10:03pm

It's probably too early to know much, but (despite my initial skepticism about him) it appears McDaniels and the people he brought in are doing well with a thin roster. I still wish they hadn't brought in Chandler Jones, and a few other moves seemed suboptimal (letting Jalen Richard and Kenyan Drake go, e.g.). But Gruden and Mayock decimated the 2017 roster and drafted terribly in the early rounds, especially on defense. Next season will be the real test, in my opinion.

Points: 0

#9 by KnotMe // Nov 09, 2022 - 9:23am

The external impression is they have a decent roster(like I said, 10 wins last year) and added Adams. So it feels like you should get similar results(maybe 9-8 with bad luck). The perspective of people who follow the team is interesting here so thanks.

Points: 0

#10 by johonny12 // Nov 09, 2022 - 11:44am

He's taking a huge hit cleansing the franchise of Gruden era and setting himself up to hopefully get a top pick. The big question is do they move Carr in the offseason for a ransom in a QB starved league? 

Points: 0

#12 by MaineRaider // Nov 09, 2022 - 1:15pm

In reply to by johonny12

I really hope not. Top ten (or even twenty) QBs are uber-rare.

Points: 0

#14 by ahmadrashad // Nov 09, 2022 - 9:47pm

I feel bad that he has to go through yet another Raider Rebuild. I wouldn't be opposed if they did the Lions thing and traded him to a contender for a pile of draft pics. 

Points: 0

#11 by IlluminatusUIUC // Nov 09, 2022 - 12:33pm

I mean, even in the 2022 NFL blowing as many three-score leads as he has is hard to spin as amazing.

Points: 0

#16 by AFCNFCBowl // Nov 10, 2022 - 10:37am

The Raiders were hilariously lucky in close games last season (7-2 in one score games, 4 OT wins and 6 wins on final play of the game), so pretty much everyone expected some regression, but the assumption was that the roster was improved enough, which combined with the removal of the Gruden/Ruggs distractions would be enough for the Raiders to be a respectable team even with regression in close games.

So far, the star players have all underachieved and the Raiders have somehow managed to completely flip to being unable to win close at all despite getting lucky within games (fumble luck, opponents' missed field goals, etc). A lot of that is on McDaniels IMO, as he also struggled in close games with DEN, STL (as OC) and with NE post-Brady.

Points: 0

#3 by theslothook // Nov 08, 2022 - 7:39pm

The mayock hiring was a lot like the Jeff Saturday hiring, at least that's how it appeared at first.

What I really think happened was Mike mayock was just a pawn and the real GM, coach, and power broker was Jon gruden. 

That doesn't mean Mike mayock would have been a good GM and/or should have been hired in the first place. But still I think a lot of this traces back to John gruden.

Points: 0

#6 by Spanosian Magn… // Nov 08, 2022 - 10:49pm

Oh I think Mayock was much more qualified for that job than Saturday is for his - which really says something about the Saturday hiring - because his media job involved a lot of talking and texting with front office personnel (including, I'd wager many if not most GMs) of all 32 teams, and then aggregating their varied opinions into an overall valuation. And I'd wager that's why Gruden wanted him - they must have known each other, as NFL media members, and got along well enough, and Mayock knew all the people and had all the contacts to facilitate the decisions Gruden made.

I cannot fathom that Mayock actually made any major final decisions, especially in the draft - you'd think, if nothing else, that he'd be good at gauging the consensus value of players around the League, and therefore not be picking guys with consensus mid-round grades in the 1st, or late-1st grades in the top-5.

Points: 0

#13 by theslothook // Nov 09, 2022 - 2:41pm

Those were my feelings as well. He didn't build his reputation on mock drafts by being a total iconoclast. In fact, like you mentioned, he was very well respected in the field and was absolutely one of the major figureheads when it came to discussing the college to pro process. 

That's why all of this smells of Jon Gruden. 

Points: 0

#4 by ImNewAroundThe… // Nov 08, 2022 - 8:57pm

Grades by year:

  • '22: 84.8 preseason --> 49.5 regular season
  • '21: 64.6 --> 56.9
  • '20: NA --> 36.8
  • '19: 63.4 --> 38.7

Just could never put it together for meaningful games.

Points: 0

#7 by Aaron Brooks G… // Nov 09, 2022 - 9:01am

I'm curious why they cut him. 

He's their 3rd leading tackler, they've played worse on defense without him, and they don't really have anyone young to replace him. This feels like scapegoating, where the new admin wants to blame the old admin for their current problems, so is cutting the old players -- even when they are better than the new guys.

\see also Josh Jacobs

Points: 0

#8 by billprudden // Nov 09, 2022 - 9:19am

Sir - 

I'm similarly curious why we traded Hankins.  In the games I was able to watch, his play was exactly as expected.  Neither plays corner.  I don't get it.


Points: 0

#15 by Theo // Nov 09, 2022 - 11:04pm

If he is so bad that you cut him, why did you first play him almost 80% of the snaps?

This means it is either a money or a personality thing. 

Or the second half kick return last weekend. That was a pretty poor angle he took on kick coverage. 

Or was Abrams good but did they feel Webb or Roberton can play the box safety? But especially Robertson is more like a nickel corner... I havent seen the Raiders play a lot this season. 

Points: 0

Save 10%
& Support Cale
Support Football Outsiders' independent media and Cale Clinton. Use promo code CALE to save 10% on any FO+ membership and give half the cost of your membership to tip Cale.