Due to defensive issues, the Raiders dismiss former first-round pick Johnathan Abram.

Prior to the 2022 NFL season, the Raiders chose not to activate safety Johnathan Abram’s fifth-year option. They have already parted ways with the former first-round draft pick halfway into the schedule. Las Vegas officially dismissed Abram two days after blowing a 17-point lead for the third time this season.

The 26-year-old Mississippi State product had been a full-time starter for the team up until recent weeks, when he saw a decreased role at the back end of the secondary. He was selected 27th overall by the Raiders’ previous administration in 2019. In Sunday’s defeat to the Jaguars, which reduced Las Vegas to 2-6 on the year, the hard-hitting veteran played on fewer than half of defensive snaps.

Because the Raiders declined the fifth-year option, Abram was in the final year of his rookie contract and would have become a free agent after the season in 2023. He will now have a head start in his search for a new home. Prior to the NFL’s post-Week 8 trading deadline, he was also considered a possible trade piece. He is now the newest early-round pick by former head coach Jon Gruden and previous general manager Mike Mayock to be banished.

Abram started 34 games in total for the Raiders after missing all but one of them as a rookie due to injury. He distinguished himself by surpassing 100 tackles in 2021 after recording a career-high two interceptions the year before.