Benson Mayowa is an edge rusher the Raiders hoped to retain. The restricted free agent provided solid depth in his two seasons in silver and black, given an original-round tender in hopes he would stay in Oakland.
Mayowa was an undrafted free agent, so the contract tender only gave the Raiders the right to match an offer sheet.
They declined to do so.
Mayowa is now a member of the Dallas Cowboys. The Raiders didn’t match a reported three-year deal worth up to $9.25 million that featured a $3.3 million signing bonus. That information was released by Cameron Foster, Mayowa’s agent, on Tuesday morning.
That’s a big sum for someone expected to be a reserve in the Raiders system. They already heave Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin off the edge, with some uncertainty after that. Mario Edwards Jr. is working to return from a neck injury and Aldon Smith is in the team’s long-term plans, yet suspended until mid November at least. Denico Autry is also a reserve at end and tackle.
Mayowa played 12 games last season, recording 16 tackles, a sack, 18 other quarterback pressures and a forced fumble in 381 defensive snaps.
Mayowa signed an offer sheet in Dallas on Friday, and the Raiders had five days to match. They decided to let him walk.
Head coach Jack Del Rio addressed Mayowa and the possibility of his departure on Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings, just before his departure became public.
“(General manager Reggie McKenzie and I have talked about it, and I would just say that he’s a good young man,” Del Rio said. “If we get him back we’d welcome him back. He’s a great teammate. If we don’t decide to match it, we’ll wish him the very best.”