Scratch one option off the Raiders' possible linebacker wish list. And it's a big loss.
When the Raiders trimmed their roster down to 53 players over the weekend, the most glaring hole was at linebacker. Head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock cut Brandon Marshall -- who still is working to get back to full strength -- and last year's special teams captain Kyle Wilber, leaving the Raiders with only four linebackers on the roster.
As cuts were being made around the league, it appeared that Miami Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso would be an option for the Silver and Black. Alonso, who started all but two games over the past three seasons in Miami, requested a trade during camp as new head coach Brian Flores looks to start over.
The Raiders reportedly were one of the teams to kick the tires on Alonso, but the Dolphins shipped the Oregon product to the Saints on Sunday in exchange for linebacker Vince Biegel.
Kiko Alonso has now been traded from the Bills to the Eagles, from the Eagles to the Dolphins, and now from the Dolphins to the Saints.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) September 1, 2019
While Alonso has had his own issues with questionable hits during his career, he is a very productive linebacker who would have been a tremendous addition to a linebacking corps in need of a guy with his skill set.
Alonso is an instinctive linebacker who is a good open-field tackler and runs the field well. He's been tested in coverage and held up. He's been healthy and productive each of the past three seasons and is a versatile backer who can play multiple positions.
Over the last three seasons, Alonso has ranked fifth in tackles (354), sixth in interceptions among linebackers (five) and tied for third in fumble recoveries among LBs (three).
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The Raiders surely will find another linebacker to join Vontaze Burfict, Tahir Whitehead, Marquel Lee and Nicholas Morrow, but Alonso would have been a great addition to a defense in need of another versatile linebacker who can cover.
It's a miss that shouldn't be overlooked.