The move continues a dismantling of what had been one of the more expensive units on the team as the Raiders agreed to trade right tackle Trent Brown to the New England Patriots and released left guard Richie Incognito last week. The Raiders are also reportedly set to release right guard Gabe Jackson.
Hudson, who turns 32 in July, signed a three-year, $33.4 million extension, with $24.4 million guaranteed, on Aug. 30, 2019, which made him the highest-paid center in the NFL in terms of annual pay per year at $11.13 million a season. He restructured his contract for cap purposes last summer.
Per ESPN’s Dan Graziano, $3.5 million of Hudson’s $9.55 million salary for this year was guaranteed, giving the Raiders a $6.05 million savings in cash this year, $10.5 million in cash next year. But in terms of the salary cap, Las Vegas will take a cap hit of nearly $2 million unless the Raiders designate him as a post-June 1 cut. Cutting Hudson now would incur a $15.614 million dead-money hit (higher than his salary-cap number of $13.637 million).
Designating him a post-June 1 cut would save the Raiders $6.4 million against the cap this year but would leave them with dead-money hits of $7.237 million this year and $10.737 million next year. Plus, they could not use those cap savings until June 2.
Hudson, a four-time winner of the team’s Commitment to Excellence Award as voted on by teammates, has been solid, if not spectacular by center standards for the Raiders since signing as a free agent in 2015 after four seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs. Pro Football Focus charged Hudson with three sacks allowed in 3,445 pass-blocking snaps with the Raiders.
Andre James, an undrafted free agent out of UCLA in 2019, started one game for Hudson as a rookie — the only game Hudson missed for the Raiders since December of the 2015 season — and would appear to be Hudson’s replacement going forward. Meanwhile, guard Kyle Long, who is coming out of a one-year retirement, worked out for the Raiders on Tuesday morning.