It was a tough day for the Oakland Raiders’ front office on Monday as they had to part ways with team leader and veteran fullback Marcel Reece.
The 31-year-old finished up the final three games of a four-game suspension and was eligible to return to the active roster but the Raiders made the decision to let him go. Reece joined the organization in 2008 after being cut by the Miami Dolphins and made his debut in 2009.
Reece was very close to late owner Al Davis and then Mark Davis, prompting the current Raiders owner to release a statement following the decision:
“Today is a sad day for the Raider family and entire Raider Nation,” said Owner Mark Davis. “My father once said that I would have a tough time running this organization because I was too close to the players, and that rings true today. Marcel Reece has been a pillar of the organization for nine years and was the glue that held us together during a tough transition after my father’s passing. He helped put us on the upward path we are on today and his leadership will be sorely missed. The motto, ‘Once a Raider, Always a Raider,’ has never been more appropriate. When Marcel finishes his playing career, there will always be a spot for him within the Raider organization. Until then, I wish only the best for Marcel and his entire family.”
The move was made in part because of the Raiders’ early success running the ball and the overall improvement of fullback Jamize Olawale. While the move makes sense, it was still hard for the Raiders to part ways with a team leader.
Reggie McKenzie also had a statement on the now former Raider:
“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.”
Reece will likely catch on somewhere else and may have a few more years left in his career. With Davis’ statement, it’s also likely that it’s not the last time Reece will be involved with the Raider organization.
The Raiders move on and will face the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium this Sunday.