In a move that had leaked out a week or so ago via sources with the team, the Raiders officially cut TE Kevin Boss today, after only one year with the team.
Boss was signed last year as a replacement to departing free agent TE Zach Miller. His contract was for 4 years, with a maximum of $16 million dollars, which isn't a huge financial burden on the team. He was due a base salary of $2 million, this season, with an additional roster bonus of $2 million this week.
Early reports of his skill were all positive during training camp and many of the writers thought that there would be no drop off in TE production from Miller to Boss with some predicting him even beating Miller's numbers.
However, Boss struggled to get onto the field to show what he could do. He had some injuries throughout the season but it also seemed as if head coach Hue Jackson preferred Brandon Meyer's over Boss.
Whatever Jackson saw must have also been seen by the new regime because they cut him today, presumabely for the cap savings - the Raiders saved $2.4 million against the cap with his release.
Boss is now free to sign wherever he chooses. He joins a TE field that includes John Carlson, formerly of the Seahawks, and Martellus Bennet, formerly of the Cowboys.
Boss finished the season with 28 receptions, 368 yards and three touchdowns and played in parts of 14 games.
This move may be a vote of confidence in the remaining three TEs on the roster - Brandon Myers and second year players David Ausberry and Richard Gordon. David Ausberry was specifically mentioned by Carson Palmer in his interview on XM Sirius as someone he's excited for.
Boss' receiving numbers last year weren't anything amazing but he was the best TE on the team last year. Myers finished with 16 receptions for 151 yards, no TDs. Ausberry had 2 receptions for 14 yards, no TDs and Gordon had 1 reception for 2 yards, no TDs.
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I did not think Boss was so much a disspointment as much as he just wasn't utilized much. When he was on the filed he looked pretty good. Certainly better than any of our other TE's. Other than for salary cap management, I am not sure if I understand this move. Even then, it is not like it is a lot of salray cap space saving.
I agree about Boss not being utilized not as much as he should have been last year, and the cap savings are not substantial in cutting him. But we are riding with Palmer for the foreseeable future and if Palmer isn't comfortable with Boss (which it definitely seemed last year) and is more comfortable with Ausberry and/or Myers then cutting Boss is probably for the best for both the team and Boss hiimself. That couple million may be able to land us a starting CB or starter elsewhere and we are not left short of TE's with Ausberry, Gordon and Myers on the roster and with Reece able to help out at TE also.
No matter if it was HJ or Palmer who chose to bench Boss for Myers, it was annoying to watch!
Myers seemed to get praise from fans based on the sole fact that he was on the field - he was nowhere near a starting caliber TE!! His routerunning, catching and receiving abilities in generel are lacking severely (which we already knew when we drafted a blocking TE), but while his blocking skills are decent, they are not even approaching good or great which they should for him to merit a spot on the starting 11!
He gets overpowered, is too slow to consistently reach 2nd level, doesn't sustain his blocks well and is not good when facing speedrushers!
From the snaps he was in, it was obvious that Gordon has far better potential as a blocker than Myers does, so hopefully the "Myers is a starter" issue will change to "Myers is a cheap half way decent 3rd stringer behing Aussey and Gordon" thing!
Would have preferred to keep Boss as he is a solid blocker with decent to good seem routes, as well as he poses a large target (which wasn't used)! .. But if the connection with Palmer isn't there, for whatever reason, then it makes sense to see him go and use the cap to other players! That said, the contract was small so it seems odd that we weren't able to get at least a low rd pick for him seeing as several teams should need a TE - then again, as he cleared waivers i guess the demand for him wasn't there, just curious to why!