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Raiders Rumors: Alex Leatherwood Released; Las Vegas 'Tried to Trade Him to Everyone'

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVAugust 30, 2022

Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders on Tuesday waived 2021 first-round pick Alex Leatherwood, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The right guard started 17 games as a rookie, but the Raiders "tried to trade him to everyone" before releasing him, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Las Vegas will be left with $7.9 million in dead cap from the move, per Schefter. As the No. 17 pick, Leatherwood signed a four-year deal worth $14.4 million.

Even though he was a consensus All-American at Alabama, many draft experts expected Leatherwood to last until at least Day 2, but the Raiders called his name midway through the first round.

"We knew it would be controversial," then-general manager Mike Mayock said after the draft. "We completely understand that."

The Raiders have a new general manager in Dave Ziegler and new head coach in Josh McDaniels, who clearly feel differently about the 23-year-old.

Pro Football Focus graded Leatherwood as the second-worst starting guard in the NFL last year, and Vic Tafur of The Athletic reported Aug. 1 that Leatherwood had worked with the Raiders third team. Though he began last season as the starting right tackle, it was clearly not a long-term fit.

Lester Cotton Sr. could fill in at right guard for the Raiders, while rookies Dylan Parham and Thayer Munford Jr. might get significant playing time.

Leatherwood will seek a fresh start with a new team after a disappointing beginning to his career.

The lack of trade interest means he should clear waivers, but more teams could get involved if Leatherwood is willing to sign a "prove it" contract.

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