Nevin Lawson should be set to make his Raiders debut on Sunday. The team activated the veteran defensive back from the exempt list today. Lawson was reinstated from his suspension last week.
The 28-year-old spent the first five seasons of his career with the Lions, and he appeared in at least 15 games per season between 2015 and 2018. During his final season in Detroit, Lawson finished with 53 tackles, one sack, and five passes defended.
The cornerback joined the Raiders on a one-year deal in March, and he was later hit with a four-game suspension for taking a banned substance. Lawson later said he tested positive for Ostarine, although he denied ever taking it.
The Raiders are currently only rostering four cornerbacks in Gareon Conley, Lamarcus Joyner, Keisean Nixon, and Curtis Riley. Assuming Nelson gets playing time, he’ll have a chance to snag his first interception in more than 3,000 career snaps.
In a related move, the Raiders waived offensive lineman Lester Cotton.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Here are Saturday’s minor moves:
- Released: OL John Wetzel
- Promoted from practice squad: DE Zach Sieler
- Promoted from practice squad: WR Duke Williams
Green Bay Packers
- Promoted from practice squad: CB Shakial Taylor
- Released from IR with injury settlement: DT Aziz Shittu
- Released from IR with injury settlement: TE Xavier Grimble
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Waived: LB Demone Harris
We’ll keep track of Monday’s practice squad moves here:
- Signed: OT Wyatt Miller
- Signed: QB Chase Litton
Kansas City Chiefs
- Signed: WR Davion Davis
New England Patriots
New York Giants
New York Jets
- Signed: WR Marcell Ateman, DE Quinton Bell, G Lester Cotton, Sr., RB Damarea Crockett, WR Rico Gafford, CB Dylan Mabin, CB Nick Nelson, LB Justin Phillips, DT Anthony Rush, TE Eric Saubert
- Signed: CB Craig James
- Signed: WR Johnny Holton
San Francisco 49ers
- Signed: OT Ryan Pope
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Signed: LB Chris Odom
The Raiders have made their slew of cuts. They placed defensive tackle Justin Ellis on injured reserve, meaning he’ll miss the entire season. After starting 14 games in 2017, Oakland signed Ellis to a three-year, $15MM extension. Injuries limited him to just six games last season, so he’ll have barely played through the first two years of that extension.
Former Rams defensive lineman Ethan Westbrooks also got the boot. He started nine games for Los Angeles in 2017 and racked up four sacks. Last year he had a smaller role, although he did appear in all 16 games for the Rams. ‘Hard Knocks’ star Keelan Doss unfortunately failed to make the roster. He’s an undrafted rookie receiver from UC Davis. Additionally Keith Smith, who served as the team’s fullback last season, was released.
WR Marcell Ateman
DE Quinton Bell
RB James Butler
LB Jason Cabinda
LB Te’von Coney
G Lester Cotton Sr.
WR Keelan Doss
LB Koa Farmer
WR Rico Gafford
WR Keon Hatcher
G/T Denver Kirkland
CB Dylan Mabin
T Justin Murray
CB Nick Nelson
WR De’Mornay Pierson-El
T Tyler Roemer
DT Anthony Rush
FB Keith Smith
DE Ethan Westbrooks
LB Kyle Wilber
TE Paul Butler
Placed on season-ending injured reserve:
DT Justin Ellis
Teams continue to announce their undrafted free agent hauls. Here is the Raiders’ 10-man contingent:
- Te’von Coney, LB (Notre Dame)
- Lester Cotton, G (Alabama)
- Keelan Doss, WR (UC Davis)
- Koa Farmer, LB (Penn State)
- Alec Ingold, FB (Wisconsin)
- Andre James, T (UCLA)
- Dylan Mabin, CB (Fordham)
- Lukayus McNeil, G (Louisville)
- Keisean Nixon, CB (South Carolina)
- Tyler Roemer, T (San Diego)
Going heavy on offensive linemen after a nine-player draft did not bring any blockers, the Raiders added some big-school talent with extensive starting experience. Cotton started 28 games for the Crimson Tide, at both left and right guard, helping Bo Scarbrough, Damien Harris and Raiders first-rounder Josh Jacobs to big per-carry numbers. McNeil has both guard and tackle experience and was a key presence (46 starts in a four-year career) in helping Lamar Jackson to two dominant seasons with the Cardinals.
The duo, along with James and Roemer, will battle to join 2018 second-round pick Brandon Parker among the Raiders’ backup linemen. With Brandon Marshall and Vontaze Burfict signed to one-year deals, the Raiders’ Las Vegas tenure may need some new blood at linebacker. The Raiders did not draft one, so Coney (two 100-plus-tackle seasons with the Fighting Irish) and Farmer (28 starts with the Nittany Lions) figure to be candidates to stick around via the 53-man roster or, more likely, the practice squad.
Doss said he received better offers than what the Raiders proposed, but UC Davis’ all-time receiving leader opted to play for his hometown team (before it relocates to Vegas next year). Jon Gruden mentioned pre-draft that he wanted to add at least one more cornerback to the roster, but the Raiders drafted both Trayvon Mullen (in Round 2) and Isaiah Johnson (in Round 4). That will make Mabin and Nixon’s paths to the active roster difficult.