About two months ago, Nick O’Leary signed on with the Raiders. Today, the team announced that the tight end has been placed on the reserve/retired list.
O’Leary, 28 in August, split his 2019 season between the Jaguars and Dolphins. After entering the league as a fifth-round pick of the Bills in 2015, he enjoyed a five-year career as a reliable role player and a pass-blocker. Now, he’s moving on to something new.
To replace O’Leary on the roster, the Raiders re-signed free agent Paul Butler. The tight end spend time with the Raiders over the last two years and he’ll return in 2020 to join them in Las Vegas. He also spent time with the Lions as a reserve/future signing, but he has yet to see live regular season action in the NFL.
A second-round selection in 2017, Kizer was pegged as a green talent that had high upside. Unfortunately for him, he was taken by the Browns, who proceeded to lose every game that season. At year’s end, he was shipped to Green Bay. Last year, the Packers dropped him before the final cut to 53, leading him to the Raiders. Unless he circles back to the Packers or Browns, he’ll join the fourth team of his NFL career.
Kizer is still only 24, but Jon Gruden & Co. didn’t see a place for him on the roster with Derek Carr, Marcus Mariota, and Nathan Peterman already in the QB room. Mariota, who joined on a two-year, $17.6MM deal, will be one freak or blown play away from taking the field in Las Vegas. Peterman, who was retained with a $2MM+ tender as a restricted free agent, figures to be the QB3.
Kizer has made 18 appearances over the course of his NFL career, most of which came during the Browns’ winless season. All in all, he’s got eleven touchdowns against 24 interceptions.
In addition to Kizer, the Raiders have also waived tight end Paul Butler, defensive end Kendall Donnerson, offensive lineman Kyle Kalis, and linebackers Te’Von Coney and Quentin Poling.
Andre Smith‘s third stint with the Bengals ended in November, and he’s apparently started looking for his next gig. Veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer tweets that the offensive tackle worked out for the Texans today.
The Bengals selected Smith with the sixth-overall pick in the 2009 draft, and the Alabama product ended up spending his first seven seasons with the organization. Smith has bounced around the NFL a bit since that time, spending time with the Vikings, Bengals (second stint), and Cardinals.
Cincy brought Smith back during this past offseason, and the 32-year-old proceeded to appear in six games (five starts) for Cincy. In total, Smith has appeared in 116 games during his career, but he’s been somewhat limited since 2016 thanks to two trips to the injured reserve.
Balzer notes that the Texans also worked out offensive tackle Travis Vornkahl and tight end Paul Butler. Vornkahl spent the preseason with the Browns before getting cut, and he had a stint on the Redskins practice squad. Butler, 26, spent last season with the Raiders organization, and he’s had a pair of workouts with the Lions this year.