In an NFL week full of changes and transactions, the Raiders announced some roster news just before their Week 9 game against the Giants. The team added linebacker Malik Reed and released wide receiver Kristian Wilkerson.
Reed was an undrafted free agent out of Nevada in 2019 when he signed with the Broncos. He worked his way into the Broncos lineup and became a starter for herHe was a starter in eight of the 15 games he played as a rookie. He started 13 games in 2020 and 13 again in 2021.
Reed was traded from the Broncos to the Steelers just before roster cuts last year and spent the season as a backup with Pittsburgh, where he played in 14 games, including two starts. He scored well on Pro Football Focuswith a decent season grade of 63.8.
Reed’s second season in Denver was his best, as he recorded 8.0 sacks. Over the course of his career, he has 16.0 sacks in 59 games.
Before the start of this season, Reed had signed with Miami, but was released in August and signed with the Raiders’ practice squad.
Added defensive help. Good news for Raiders roster
Ahead of this week’s trade deadline, before the season took a drastic turn with the firing of coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler, the Raiders were reportedly looking to put a pass rusher on the trade market.
As Diana Russini of The Athletic wrote: “The robber have been busy searching the entire league for a pass rusher since the release of Chandler Jones. They’re looking for a player-for-player trade and maybe don’t want to give up too much.”
Interim coach Antonio Pierce, a linebacker himself during his playing days, acknowledged that the Raiders’ defense played fairly well for the most part. The Team in 19th placeTh in yards allowed, and 22nd in points, which isn’t great, but compared to the offense – 30th in points and 31stst in yards – it was passable. But the team struggled to stop long drives fueled by opposing running attacks.
Pierce wants that to change. He hopes that by slowing down the run, pass rusher Maxx Crosby can be successful in clear passing situations.
“More more,” Pierce said, according to SI.com. “We have to create sales. We have to stop the long journeys. The penalties were the biggest thing that hurt us in situations like this. We had great moments and then we had other moments like, “What the fuck?”
“First and foremost, just be consistent. As a defensive player you stop the run and build the wall. We make them one-dimensional and, as I tell Max, go eat. Go eat. Celebrate at quarterback and let’s celebrate and have fun while doing it.”
Kristian Wilkerson is part of the Patriots Purge
Wilkerson’s cut perhaps shouldn’t be a surprise, as the Raiders appear to be cutting everything Patriots-related from the roster. Jones, as Russini mentioned, was released after his arrest earlier in the season, and now McDaniels and Ziegler, who were hired from New England, are gone as well.
Former Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, brought in by McDaniels, is now on the bench and Wilkerson, who was with the Patriots for two seasons when McDaniels was offensive coordinator, is also gone.
Wilkerson had appeared in two games for the Raiders, including one start, but did not make a catch.
Sean Deveney is a veteran sports reporter who covers the NBA and NFL for Heavy.com. He has been writing for Heavy since 2019 and has more than two decades of NBA reporting experience, including 17 years as a senior NBA reporter for the Sporting News. Deveney is the author of seven nonfiction books, including “Fun City,” “Before Wrigley Were Wrigley,” and “Facing Michael Jordan.” More about Sean Deveney
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