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Raiders Release OT Alex Leatherwood

The Las Vegas Raiders have released their former 2021 first-round pick, offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood

It had been reported leading up to Tuesday's cut deadline that the Las Vegas Raiders could release or trade offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood. 

With only about an hour left to trim the roster to 53 players, the Raiders decided to release the former first-round pick. 

It's the end of a maligned period during Leatherwood's brief time with the Raiders, one that'll now see him go down as a first-round bust. 

The 17th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Leatherwood was considered to be a reach pick at the time, but no one could have foreseen the struggles he would experience as a rookie. 

While he did start all 17 games last season, Leatherwood ended up being graded out as one of the worst offensive lineman in the NFL. 

Leatherwood was called for 14 penalties last year, the 3rd most in the league, and gave up eight sacks, which was 2nd most.

His 65 total pressures allowed were also the most given up in the NFL last year, showcasing his inability to even be an average pass protector. 

Leatherwood received a final grade from Pro Football Focus of 45.0 overall, which was third to last among tackles. 

It was such an issue that Leatherwood was moved to guard after the first four games last season. 

Even after that change, though, Leatherwood didn't see any significant change in his play, and that continued through to this preseason. 

His play in the Raiders third preseason game against the Miami Dolphins was more of the same, giving up five pressures. 

That was apparently enough for Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler to decide that Leatherwood no longer had a future with the team. 

The Raiders will be left with $7.9 million in dead cap money as a result of the move, and more importantly, are now guaranteed to be starting new faces at both right guard and right tackle this season. 

For Leatherwood, his lack of trade interest isn't a good sign of other team's willingness to bring him in, although he could have the chance to sign a one-year, "prove it" contract if he clears waivers. 

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