Raiders Surprisingly Cut DL David Irving


Las Vegas Raiders HC Jon Gruden.

The Las Vegas Raiders spent much of the offseason making moves on the defensive line. There’s been a lot of turnover for the position group as the team clearly believed they needed to switch things up. One player who figured to make the team was David Irving.

The former Dallas Cowboys pass-rusher joined the Raiders during the season last year. Despite the team needing more pass rush, Irving only ended up playing in two games due to injury. Las Vegas re-signed him this offseason and it figured he’d stick around for a while thanks to his relationship with defensive line coach Rod Marinelli. Well, that didn’t end up being the case. The Raiders announced on Friday that they’ve parted ways with Irving.

This move comes as a surprise. Irving was expected to at least make it to training camp. In his last 10 games with the Cowboys, he accumulated eight sacks. He was out of the NFL in 2019 due to suspension but he’s only 27-years-old. The Raiders seemed like the ideal destination for him to return to form but things obviously didn’t work out.

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Not a Good Fit?

Irving could’ve brought a lot of pass-rushing potential to a group of defensive tackles who don’t have a history of getting after the quarterback. There certainly has to be more to fact that the Raiders cut him right now. According to The Athletic’s Vic Tafur, Irving just simply “wasn’t a good fit.”

The veteran defensive lineman appeared very excited about his opportunity with the Raiders recently. The fact that Irving didn’t come to OTAs could’ve played a role in why the team isn’t bringing him back.

When asked why the Raiders moved on, team insider Vincent Bonsignore offered pretty cryptic reasoning.

It’s possible that something happened behind the scenes that Raiders fans aren’t privy to. Regardless, Irving should land on his feet as his upside is too intriguing for 31 other teams to pass up on.

Do Raiders Have Enough Pass at DT?

The Raiders invested heavily in defensive tackles this offseason but none of them are proven pass rushers. Former No. 3 overall pick Solomon Thomas was the most interesting addition the team made. However, he only has six sacks in four seasons.

Maurice Hurst was one of Las Vegas’ better interior pass rushers over the last few years but the team cut him recently. With Irving and Hurst gone, the Raiders have gotten rid of their two highest upside interior pass rushers.

Quinton Jefferson could be the starter next to Johnathan Hankins at defensive tackle this season. In his last three seasons, he has 9.5 sacks. That’s more than anybody else at the position currently on the Raiders roster.

The team improved their pass rush on the outside this offseason with the signing of Yannick Ngakoue and the drafting of Malcolm Koonce. However, it’s fair to say that the interior pass rush could be weaker this season.

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