The Falcons have been silent this offseason, not signing a single free agent from a different team. Matt Gono is the only transaction Terry Fontenot has made, which was only a restricted free agent tender. However, the Falcons did clear up some cap space today by restructuring Matt Ryan’s contract, and there is a new name on the market that should intrigue Terry Fontenot. According to Ian Rapoport, the Las Vegas Raiders are releasing former Pro Bowl center, Rodney Hudson.
The #Raiders are releasing Pro Bowl center Rodney Hudson, source said, a surprise in Las Vegas as their O-line receives a nearly complete facelift.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 16, 2021
Signing Hudson would effectively make Matt Hennessey a backup because he was ineffective in limited snaps at guard a season ago. Hudson signed a three-year extension with the Raiders just before the 2019 season, which made him the league’s highest-paid center and put him under contract through 2023. This is extremely surprising as many around the Las Vegas locker room praised the former Florida State Seminole. Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson even recently called him a valuable piece of the Raiders’ offense.
Hudson is a three-time Pro Bowler and was a second-team All-Pro in 2019. But beyond that, this move doesn’t even help the Raiders’ cap situation — taking on a bigger dead cap hit than keeping him. Las Vegas may designate Hudson a post-June 1 release, in which case half of his dead cap hit will move to their 2022 cap. But still, the cut is shocking nonetheless.
Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden have now parted ways with four of their five offensive line starters from a season ago — Hudson joins Richie Incognito, Gabe Jackson, and Trent Brown.
Fontenot could work around this year’s compensation for someone like Hudson by backloading a multi-year contract. According to PFF, he only surrendered one sack and committed one penalty in over 1,000 snaps in 2020. He’s valuable in both pass sets and run blocking and also capable of becoming a vocal leader on an offensive line that needs one. Matt Hennessey could blossom into an average starter, but Fontenot didn’t draft him, so he has no allegiances to the former Temple Owl. With someone as consistent as Rodney Hudson on the open market, the Falcons will surely do their due diligence.
The Raiders are releasing C Rodney Hudson, per @RapSheet
Rodney Hudson since 2015:
▪️3,445 pass-blocking snaps
▪️3 sacks allowed pic.twitter.com/PPX0A8QoW9
— PFF (@PFF) March 16, 2021
Photographer: Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire
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