In a move that does not surprise many, Marcel Reece has been released by the Oakland Raiders, as reported by ESPN. The transaction takes place on the first day that the veteran fullback was eligible to return from a suspension by the NFL, which began at the end of the previous season.
Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie is an artist when it comes to public relations. While giving a speech about the departure of Marcel Reece, McKenzie made sure to thank Reece for the contributions that he provided for the Raiders for the past several years. McKenzie also wished Reece the best in his future endeavors.
Since he has been with the team since 2008, Marcel Reece was actually considered a close friend of Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis. Eight years is a long time to be with a franchise in the NFL. Reece has developed a lot of relationships during that tenure.
The only player that has been with the Oakland Raiders longer than Marcel Reece is Sebastian Janikowski. The kicker was drafted back in 2000. As a first round draft pick, Janikowski was expected to be a long-term special teams solution for the Raiders. He has proven to be worth the risk.
Mark Davis has admitted that this father, the legendary Al Davis, once warned him that he was going to struggle as the owner of the Oakland Raiders because he forms too much of a bond with the players. Mark and Marcel Reece became extremely close friends, so this release was harder than normal.
Not surprisingly, Mark Davis has already told the media that, whenever Marcel Reece is done with his playing career in the NFL, he has a job with the Oakland Raiders waiting for him. Reece should take comfort in knowing that as he spends the next couple of weeks trying to find another home in the league.
It is pretty rare that an owner in the NFL would take the time and effort to release an official statement to the public whenever a player is released, but that is exactly what Mark Davis did whenever the franchise decided to move on from Marcel Reece.
The release more than likely did not come as a surprise to Marcel Reece. The Oakland Raiders handed a contract worth approximately $6 million to Jamize Olawale that will keep him with the franchise until 2018. NFL teams don’t usually keep around two fullbacks, a position that is rarely used nowadays.
While the Oakland Raiders will never admit it, they are saving approximately $2.2 million in salary cap space by releasing Marcel Reece. That is a lot of money for the fullback position, which has been downgraded now that the NFL has spread the field.
Aside from financial reasons, it was easier for the Oakland Raiders to move on from Marcel Reece because their running game has been thriving thus far this season. They have one of the best ground games in the NFL. That helps a lot because the defense has underachieved tremendously.
Marcel Reece is a versatile performer. In college, he was a wide receiver. In the NFL, he could also function as a tight end or an H-Back. The fact that the Oakland Raiders weren’t willing to try him at the other position says a lot about how much they wanted to move on.
Being cut by the Oakland Raiders is not the end of the world for Marcel Reece. Though the NFL has changed, he still has a couple of options for employment in the league. Someone out there is going to want to to utilize power rushing still.
[Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images]