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The Las Vegas Raiders tried to make Alex Leatherwood work out. But on Tuesday they raised the white flag and sent him to the waiver wire.
Leatherwood was a first-round pick (17th overall) by former Raiders general manager Mike Mayock in 2021. Mayock called him a “plug-and-play” tackle.
Well, Leatherwood started at right tackle. And that didn’t work.
He was moved to guard and while that worked a bit better, it wasn’t necessarily good.
This offseason Leatherwood was back at right tackle as the Raiders, under new management, moved him around to find him a home.
“What we’re going to focus on is fundamentals, technique,” coach Josh McDaniels said in June. “What can he do better as a football player? Forget about the position. Then we’ll worry about tackle to guard, guard to tackle as we get into more football-specific things.”
The former All-American and Outland Trophy winner at Alabama was shopped around the league as a trade target, according to a league source. And although he started all 17 games in 2021 as a rookie, no one obviously showed interest.
So he’s waived, a move that will cost the Raiders $7.86 million of dead money on their salary cap if he is not claimed by another team.
The good news for Leatherwood is he’s only 23 years old and football coaches have big egos and they believe they can turn this castoff into good players.
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That’s what’s going to happen with this former first-round pick.
Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero