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Raiders release veteran cornerback after benching against Chiefs

Updated November 28, 2023 - 12:19 pm

The Raiders, as expected, made significant changes to their defensive backfield Monday by waiving starting cornerback Marcus Peters and reserve safety Roderic Teamer.

Teamer was let go after being arrested on DUI charges Saturday. The timing of his arrest was troublesome as it occurred the night before the Raiders played the Kansas City Chiefs and soon after Teamer was shifted from the injured-reserve list to the active roster.

Raiders interim coach Antonio Pierce said the Teamer incident should be a lesson for his players.

“I think all our guys need to understand this: Whatever you do off the field, affects the decisions that are going to be made in this building,” Pierce said. “And we’re gonna do the best to protect the brand, the shield and the Raiders organization.”

The 30-year-old Peters is a two-time first-team All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowler in nine NFL seasons. That level of play never materialized during his time with the Raiders. Peters was signed just before training camp to a one-year, $3 million deal and has started all 12 of the team’s games. Peters, prior to Sunday, played more than 90 percent of the Raiders’ defensive snaps.

His usage didn’t match the production. Peters struggled in coverage and as a tackler. It all came to a head against the Chiefs when he whiffed on an easy first-half tackle and was benched soon after.

Peters had a spirited sideline conversation with Pierce when it was apparent the defender would not return to the game. Pierce expressed gratitude Monday for Peters’ contributions and indicated he’s still getting accustomed to the uncomfortable process of informing players they are being let go.

“It’s always difficult when you’ve got to release a player. That conversation I don’t look forward to,” Pierce said. “Hate it, to be honest. I hate it. It’s not good. It’s not a good feeling.”

Peters’ play still warranted the move.

“We’re all gonna get cut. We’re all gonna get fired,” Pierce said. “You get hired to get fired. He understands that. I understand that. It’s a part of the business that we all hate and it sucks. “

If Peters goes unclaimed, the Raiders will be on the hook for the remaining portion of his $1.65 million salary for 2023. They will save approximately $300,000 no matter what because of his $60,000 per-game roster bonus.

The move enables the Raiders to get closer looks at rookie cornerback Jakorian Bennett and recently acquired cornerback Jack Jones, a second-year player who took over for Peters after Sunday’s benching.

The Raiders also hope to get veteran cornerback Brandon Facyson back after their bye week. Facyson has been on injured reserve since training camp with a shin injury.

“It’s next-man-up mentality,” Pierce said. “We got some young guys there, JB, Jack Jones just got here. Hope to get some more guys healthy and in the mix. Just a great opportunity for some of our younger players.”

Staff writer Adam Hill contributed to this story.

Contact Vincent Bonsignore at vbonsignore@reviewjournal.com. Follow@VinnyBonsignore on X.

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