When the Oakland Raiders picked up David Amerson off of waivers from Washington, he seemed like a godsend. Despite terrible stats in Washington, he found success in Oakland. So much success, the Raiders signed him to a four year extension last summer. But only one year into that extension and the Raiders may already be having second thoughts.
This season, Amerson has been hit or miss at best. At worst, he’s been a piece of burnt toast at times. That being said, he’s also flashed moments where you saw the talent that had everyone so excited last season. The problem is, it’s hard to know which David Amerson will show up next season and the seasons to follow. Will it be the shut down talent who walks with a swagger or the guy who makes you understand why Washington cut him.
The other problem is that Amerson is costing Oakland a pretty penny. As of now, Amerson has the third biggest cap hit of anyone on the Raiders next season at $8.5 million.
Unfortunately, the Raiders cannot get out from under his entire cap number by cutting him, but they could recoup $7 million while only eating $1.5 million in dead money. I know, I know, $1.5 million in dead money is nothing to sneeze at but when it frees up $7 million, it becomes worth considering.
If the Raiders and general manager Reggie McKenzie believe there is a replacement for Amerson to be found for fairly cheap in the draft or free agency, the Raiders could cut Amerson and replace him while still saving more than $5 million in cap space.
Those kind of savings could help a lot when re-signing guys like Derek Carr and Khalil Mack, but there has to be a plan for a replacement that doesn’t end up being a downgrade or eliminating the savings you would gain from cutting Amerson.