Kevin Burnett is the Oakland Raiders’ first training camp casualty.
After a 2013 season with 2-1/2 sacks and over 100 tackles, the linebacker was released after being unable to pass a team physical.
Burnett was a pseudo-fan-favorite, one of only two veterans on the Raiders defense last season, and one of the most vocal players on the roster. The 9-year veteran Burnett was a second-round pick of the Dallas Cowboys in 2005.
The 31-year-old should have little problem finding a team willing to sign him, particularly one itching for talent like the Cleveland Browns or Jacksonville Jaguars.
Head coach Dennis Allen made it clear Burnett was nursing an injury during organized team activities and mandatory minicamp, and the team drafted linebacker Khalil Mack to take his place, during the first round of this year’s draft:
“He (Burnett) was not cleared for participation and I think with where we’re at, at the linebacker position, with some young talented players, Miles Burris and Sio Moore, Kaluka Maiava. I think we feel good with that position, and we’re going to move on.”
This is good news for linebackers Maiva, Burris, Kaelin Burnett and others, who will have a better chance of making the team after final cuts happen in late August.
It was also revealed this week that second-year cornerback DJ Hayden sustained a stress fracture in one of his feet, and needed surgery four weeks ago to repair it. The injury will take an additional two to four weeks to heal.
Hayden, along with tight end Nick Kasa, offensive lineman Lucas Nix, safety Usama Young, cornerback Keith McGill and defensive tackle Antonio Smith, will likely begin training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.
Defensive tackle Stacy McGee and defensive end C.J. Wilson were placed on the non-football injury (NFI) list.