Updated May 21, 2021 - 7:54 pm
In a surprise move, the Raiders on Friday released defensive tackle David Irving, who signed on late last season after coming off the NFL’s suspended list.
Irving was expected to compete for snaps in a crowded, revamped Raiders defensive line. But the numbers game involved may have cost him his spot.
It also didn’t help that Irving has not been participating in the in-person, on-field portion of Phase 2 of the Raiders’ offseason program, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
Given Irving’s checkered past — he was suspended indefinitely in March of 2019 by the NFL after repeated violations of the league’s substance-abuse policy — he was considered a bit of a long shot when the Raiders signed him last October upon his being reinstated and even when they re-signed him last February.
The hope was he was ready to seize an opportunity to get his career back on track. If things broke right, it was hoped he could provide the 56 tackles and 12.5 sacks he gave the Cowboys in his 37 games in Dallas.
But part of that was predicated on him showing the Raiders he was committed to getting things turned around. He certainly didn’t help that cause by not being in Henderson for OTA’s.
As things stand, the Raiders have Johnathan Hankins, Quinton Jefferson, Darius Philon, Solomon Thomas and Niles Scott competing for playing time on the interior of the defensive line.