The Las Vegas Raiders have moved on from one of their recent first-round picks. According to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, the Raiders have released safety Johnathan Abram, their first-round pick in the 2019 NFL draft.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 8, 2022
This isn't a move that was expected, though the team had reportedly been trying to move on from Abram for months. According to Tashan Reed of The Athletic, the Raiders have been trying to trade Abram since the summer but hadn't found any takers. A few teams were reportedly interested in him before the trade deadline, but the Raiders didn't end up making any moves.
Vegas has been struggling mightily on defense this season. On Sunday they blew their third lead of 17 points or more this season, losing 27-20 to the Jacksonville Jaguars after leading 17-0 in the second quarter. It's not known if Abram's release had anything to do with Sunday's loss, but it's possible it could have spurred them to make a decision.
Abram, 26, was drafted 27th overall out of Mississippi State, and he is the fourth of the last six Raiders first-round draft picks to be cut by the team.
#Raiders first-round picks from 2019-2021:
2021: Alex Leatherwood: Cut
2020: Henry Ruggs III: Cut
2020: Damon Arnette: Cut
2019: Johnathan Abram: Cut
2019: Josh Jacobs: 5th year declined.
2019: Clelin Ferrell: 5th year declined.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) November 8, 2022
Abram, who will now go on waivers, is in the final year of his rookie contract after the Raiders declined his fifth-year option in April. According to Pelissero, he's owed just over $1 million in base salary for the rest of the 2022 season.