Plenty can happen between now and cut-downs, but Walford isn't guaranteed anything with the Jets despite the void at tight end created by the departure of Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Jordan Leggett (knee) and Chris Herndon (knee) are currently the co-favorites to to land the starting job.
Walford could be in jeopardy of losing his job, Andy Vasquez of northjersey.com reports.
Walford has a slight edge over recent draftee Chris Herndon and Eric Tomlinson for the starting tight end spot in New York. Jordan Leggett could also rise in the ranks should he impress during training camp, but for the time being it looks like this could be a three-man race. Walford's experience could be a key factor during the evaluation process, but Herndon seems likely to put up a good fight, especially if the Jets place a large emphasis of their evaluation on receiving skills.
Taking advantage of a modest role in the Raiders offense, the 2015 third-round selection accounted for 61 catches (on 102 targets) for 688 yards and six touchdowns in his first two pro seasons. Upon the arrival of Jared Cook last year, though, Walford's usage dwindled to 12.8 percent of the offensive snaps, which translated to just nine receptions for 80 yards and no TDs. Walford's new reality could result in a rebound due to the dearth of talent at TE for the Jets. With Austin Seferian-Jenkins out of the picture, Walford will only have to compete against Eric Tomlinson, Jordan Leggett and Neal Sterling, albeit with more help likely coming after the NFL Draft.
The Raiders are releasing Walford (concussion, neck), Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
A 2015 third-round pick, Walford caught 61 of 103 targets for 688 yards and six scores over his first two seasons, but then had just nine receptions in 13 games last year before landing on injured reserve due to a concussion. The transaction suggests he passed a physical, and he should find an opportunity to compete for a backup job elsewhere. Jared Cook is locked in as the top tight end in Oakland.
Walford had yet to practice since sustaining the concussion in Week 14, so this move isn't overly surprising as the regular season draws to a close. Pharaoh Brown has joined the 53-man roster from the practice squad and should serve as the Raiders' No. 3 tight end.