The Oakland Raiders made a surprising move on Monday, electing to release fullback Marcel Reece according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter who reported it first.
The Oakland Raider have since announced the roster move.
Reece was set to rejoin the team after sitting out the first three games due to a suspension for violating the NFL’s banned substance policy. He was serving a four-game suspension that began last season, when he sat out during their week 16 game. He also had to sit out the Pro Bowl game, and had previously said he wanted to remain a Raider for life.
The eight-year veteran was selected to the Pro Bowl four times after being signed by the Oakland Raiders after going undrafted. Reece was a converted wide receiver from the University of Washington who became a fan favorite with the Raiders after being converted to fullback.
Reece’s history as a wide receiver made him a versatile player, appears as the Raiders running back, a tight end, a receiver and at his listed position of fullback. He appeared in 92 games for the Raiders, racking up 205 receptions for 2,015 yards and 12 touchdowns, while also rushing the ball 183 times for 844 yards and three touchdowns.
The Raiders signed fullback Jamize Olawale to a three-year extension for $6 million towards the end of the last season.
Oakland only has 52 players on the roster, meaning they have room for one more but apparently not at the running back position. The Raiders have a crowded backfield already after keeping undrafted free agent Jalen Richard to go along with Latavius Murray and fifth-round draft pick DeAndre Washington.
Both head coach Jack Del Rio and general manager Reggie McKenzie commented on the roster move in a press release.
"I want to thank Marcel as a player and as a person for all that he has given to the Oakland Raiders," said General Manager Reggie McKenzie. "What he has meant to the organization and to me over the past few years is hard to put into words, but his actions, both on and off the field, speak louder than any words can. This was a tough decision. Not enough can be said about Marcel's commitment to his teammates and his pride in the Raiders, and we wish him and his family nothing but the best."
"Marcel was a great teammate and I appreciate him as a player on the field and as a man off the field," said Head Coach Jack Del Rio. "I wish him all the best moving forward."