When the Raiders released Rodney Hudson yesterday, I needed a moment to gather my thoughts. In a way, a good night’s sleep allowed me to not overreact, saying something in the heat of frustration that would undermine the quality work we bring you. Under those circumstances, I still struggle with any semblance of actual reason that lead the Raiders into making the transaction a reality. In life, we hear the term, ” make it make sense” appear in our everyday life. Yet, we, as people, always failed to live up to that lofty demand. Pure and simple, under any drawn conclusion, does cutting Rodney Hudson make sense. Yet, that’s life in the NFL.
Pro-Gruden, anti-reason defends quickly state that every player is replaceable. While tangentially true, a talent like Hudson does not walk into training camp off the street. First, look at the fact that he’s surrendered only three sacks in six seasons. On bad Raiders teams, where they fell behind, forced to pass, Hudson did not fold. Next, without a doubt, he served as the glue that held the offensive line together. With his leadership, the offensive line did their best to keep Derek Carr mostly upright. When the ball leaves his hands, or whether he held on too long will never be any fault of theirs. Lastly, for all the talk of locker room chemistry, Hudson served as one of the leaders. Now, he finds himself, with gas left in the tank and teams clamoring to throw millions of dollars in his vicinity.
With eighty percent of their Week 1 starting offensive line gone, what is the Raiders’ plan? Granted, they may bring back Incognito, but they will need to fill three spots with talent. If you jettison Jackson, Brown, and Hudson, whoever earns the starting spot must play at a comparable level. As an offense-minded coach, you’d think Jon Gruden would naturally want to keep a unit together that allowed Derek Carr to enjoy an outstanding statistical season. Yet, he will now trust at least three new starters to protect him. Why now? According to reports, Hudson asked for his release, but what prompted it? Did something occur that he disliked, or did the team not paying the bonus irk him into wanting to leave? Whatever the issue, cutting him should be the last resort.
As Rodney Hudson leaves town, another brick from the fable 2016 Raiders falls by the wayside. Now, Derek Carr stands alone as the lone member of that team. It strikes an odd chord to know that five years later and that team dissipated via trades and releases. Rodney Hudson regardless of what anyone says was the heart and soul fo the offense.