Johnathan Abram’s job in danger?

Whenever a new regime takes over an NFL team, there will be questions about the starting players who don’t end up fitting into the new team plans.

That same thought may apply to the Las Vegas Raiders, with head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler now in charge.

There could already be several players who are tipped off, with running back Josh Jacobs, defensive end Clelin Ferrell and safety Johnathan Abram’s fifth-year contract options all having been declined.

of Abraham the grip on a particular starting spot could be tested as we approach the coming season.

A recent listing on NFL.com said as much, calling Abram a top-tier player at risk of losing his starting job.

Abram has seen most of the first-team shots opposite Tre’von Moehrig, but that could change as training camp progresses.

Abram’s own performance over the past two seasons hasn’t made it easy for him to hold onto his spot.

In his first full starting season in 2020, Abram finished dead last in PFF’s safety ratings for that year.

He has often had coverage issues, giving up a quarterback rating of over 110 in each of the past two seasons.

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If Abram can’t show he can be more effective outside of just playing in the box, then veteran Duron Harmon could get more looks as a starter.

He has a history with defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, dating back to when they were both with the New England Patriots.

With 21 career interceptions, Harmon has shown more ability to make plays on cover, an important quality for a Raiders defense that hasn’t ranked in the top half of the NFL in forced turnovers since 2016.

With the moves the Raiders have made this offseason, they’re clearly in win-now mode, and they can’t afford to wait for players to develop.

It’s possible in a new defense that Abram finds a new level of play, but Harmon gives Graham a player who already knows the pattern.

All of this could prevent Abram from having a very long leash this season and make him a player to watch in the future.

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