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Packers claim former Raiders first-round pick Johnathan Abram off waivers, per report

NFL: Preseason-Oakland Raiders at Arizona Cardinals

The Green Bay Packers are adding a hard-hitting safety to their secondary, as they have claimed recently-waived Las Vegas Raiders defensive back Johnathan Abram, per NFL Media. Packers special teams coordinator and former Raiders interim head coach Rich Bisaccia worked with Abram during his time in Vegas. 

The Raiders declined to exercise the fifth-year option on Abram before the 2022 NFL season, and he was waived on Tuesday. The 26-year-old Mississippi State product, drafted 27th overall by the Raiders’ previous regime in 2019, had been a full-time starter for the team up until recent weeks, when he saw a reduced role at the back end of the secondary. Abram played less than half of defensive snaps in Sunday’s loss to the Jaguars, which dropped Las Vegas to 2-6 on the season.

Abram was in the final year of his rookie contract thanks to the Raiders declining the fifth-year option, so he’s set to enter free agency this offseason. He was also speculated as a potential trade chip ahead of the NFL’s post-Week 8 trade deadline, and becomes just the latest early-round investment by former coach Jon Gruden and former general manager Mike Mayock to be exiled.

After missing all but one game due to injury as a rookie, Abram started 34 combined games for the Raiders, notably eclipsing 100 tackles in 2021 and logging a career-high two interceptions the year prior. In eight games played this season, Abram has recorded 48 combined tackles and one pass defensed with two QB hits. 

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