The Raiders have released veteran linebacker Curtis Lofton, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (via Twitter). As a vested veteran, Lofton will immediately become a free agent without having to first pass through waivers.
Lofton, 29, joined the Raiders for the 2015 season after spending his previous seven NFL seasons in Atlanta and New Orleans. After inking a three-year, $18MM deal with Oakland, Lofton failed to make a real impact for the team, starting just nine games and struggling to produce. Pro Football Focus ranked him 94th out of 97 qualified linebackers.
Lofton’s contract stipulated that $3.5MM of his $5.35MM base salary for 2016 would become guaranteed last month, less than a week after the Super Bowl. Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle indicated earlier this week that the Raiders couldn’t cut the linebacker prior to that date because he was unable to pass a physical due to an arm injury. Indeed, Evan Woodbery of the New Orleans Times-Picayune tweets that Lofton was cut with a failed physical designation today.
While there has been some speculation that Lofton moved his guarantee date back, it appears for now that his $3.5MM guarantee will indeed count against the Raiders’ 2016 cap. If any new info surfaces, we’ll pass it along. Even with that dead money on the cap, Oakland creates $2MM in cap savings with the move.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.