Raiders safety Neiko Thorpe has accepted a pay cut in order to remain with the team. Originally slated to earn $2.553MM in 2016, he’ll now receive a base salary of $675K and up to $1MM in total, a source tells Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
The former undrafted free agent out of Auburn had a career season in 2015. Thorpe compiled career-highs in tackles (40), passes defended (six), and interceptions (one) while starting two of his 14 games. After that performance, the Raiders hit Thorpe with a second-round tender, giving him a $2.5MM+ non-guaranteed base for the coming season. Thorpe received the tender in March and inked it in April.
Months later, Oakland apparently wasn’t willing to keep Thorpe on the roster at his current rate. When looking at the Raiders’ depth chart, it’s easy to see why. The Raiders intend to start the recently-signed Sean Smith and the newly-extended David Amerson at corner with D.J. Hayden and T.J. Carrie as the main backups. Positioned as the team’s No. 5 CB with competition behind him, Thorpe didn’t have much in the way of leverage, giving the Raiders an opportunity to trim his non-guaranteed salary.
Thorpe first joined the Raiders in early 2014 after having spent time with the Chiefs and the Toronto Argonauts.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.