This will end a productive partnership, with Jackson having served as a Raiders starter from Day 1. The franchise drafted Jackson in the 2014 third round, where he joined Derek Carr and Khalil Mack as instant contributors from the draft class. His exit will leave Carr as the last man standing from that haul.
This is not a completely out-of-the-blue move, however. The Raiders shopped Jackson during the 2020 draft. By releasing him now, they will save $9.6MM in cap space. The team entered Wednesday slightly over the projected 2021 salary cap. Two seasons remained on the five-year extension Jackson signed in 2017.
Jackson had battled injuries in recent years, failing to make it through 16 games from 2017-19. But he bounced back and started all 16 Raider contests last season, helping Josh Jacobs to a second straight 1,000-yard season. Pro Football Focus has rated Jackson as a middling guard in recent years, after viewing him as a high-end blocker earlier in his career. Jackson, 29, still stands to generate interest on an open market that has been increasingly kind to proven O-linemen in recent years.
The Raiders played most of last season without Richie Incognito. He and Brown’s absences affected the O-line’s performance, with Jacobs being limited to 3.9 yards per carry. The Raiders used Denzelle Good as Incognito’s backup and drafted Clemson product John Simpson in the 2020 fourth round. Incognito is under contract for 2021, but the polarizing player will turn 38 this year and is coming off a significant injury. Good is a free agent.
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