Sio Moore's Raiders future up in the air?

When general manager Reggie McKenzie declared in December that the Oakland Raiders' foundation had finally been built, it was firmly believed that talented young linebacker Sio Moore was part of that nucleus.

An All-Rookie selection in 2013, Moore finished third on the team in tackles last season despite starting just 11 games.

Now those covering the team are openly questioning Moore's future under the new coaching staff.

How has a young defender with size, speed, toughness and demonstrated playmaking ability fallen so far so fast?

Moore missed the entire offseason program after undergoing major surgery to repair a hip injury that ended his season in mid-December. While he was sidelined, new Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton installed free-agent acquisition Malcolm Smith in Moore's starting weakside spot.

Smith played under Norton at USC and in Seattle, winning Super Bowl XLVIII MVP honors in February of 2014. Having racked up a team-high nine tackles in the third preseason game, Smith isn't going to relinquish his position.

That begs the question: Will Norton and coach Jack Del Rio eventually try Moore on the strong side? Or will they wash their hands of a player who spent too much time in the trainer's room after being dogged by maturity concerns in the past?

Del Rio dismissed Moore last week as an unreliable asset who was "competing to be a role player somewhere." Although Moore suited up versus Arizona, he was limited to special teams duty in the regular-season "dress rehearsal."

Del Rio has already proven willing to cut ties with players from the previous regime, having waived safety Jonathan Dowling early this week.

Left out of the rotation on defense and ostensibly languishing in Del Rio's doghouse, Moore appears to be at a crossroads in his Oakland career.

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