Raiders head coach Jon Gruden didn’t like what he saw from the right tackle spot while watching last year’s game tape. Marshall Newhouse didn’t hold up well, and Gruden said as much at the NFL combine.
That’s why it came as no surprise Newhouse was released on Monday, as the Raiders try to increase salary-cap space.
Newhouse could’ve earned up to $1.75 million next season, and the Raiders will avoid that cap charge.
Newhouse started 14 games last year, and played 841 offensive snaps. He struggled in pass protection, allowing eight sacks, three quarterback hits and 27 other pressures. He was an inconsistent run player, as the Raiders often struggled rushing to the right.
“We had some inconsistency at right tackle,” Gruden said the combine. “(Marshall Newhouse) had his moments where he played well, and moments where he obviously struggled.”
The Silver and Black relied heavily on him last year, especially when Donald Penn was holding out for a better contract. He played left tackle then, and move back to right tackle when Penn returned. He was a valued member of the locker room and a smart football mind who played through injury.
"There's a lot of change going on over there (in Oakland),” Newhouse told ESPN’s Josina Anderson. “Outside of Reggie, no one else familiar with me there. I'm a good pro & teammate. I have a lot of flexibility to live wherever in the country. Still young & healthy."
Jylan Ware and Vadal Alexander are in-house replacement options, but the Raiders are looking for an upgrade there, both in free agency and the NFL draft. They met with several offensive tackles at the combine, including higher profile members of the 2018 class. They need immediate help at right tackle and a left tackle of the future, with Donald Penn’s tenure over after 2019 at the latest.
It’s possible the Raiders look for an offensive tackle higher in the draft. Established veterans are often expensive in free agency. The Raiders don’t have tons of cap space, and have some pressing needs (like cornerback) they’d like to address on the open market.
They also hope to re-sign NaVorro Bowman and Denico Autry and TJ Carrie at the right price.
Raiders sign Stanford product
Receiver and return specialist Griff Whalen signed with the Silver and Black on Monday, the team announced. The Stanford product hasn’t played much in recent years and has limited stat totals, but will be allowed to compete for a job on special teams and on offense.