Oakland waived/injured their 2017 second-round selection on Thursday while simultaneously confirming the signing of veteran cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Melifonwu reverted to the Raiders' injured reserve list Friday after going unclaimed on waivers. He could be released if the Raiders reach an injury settlement with him.
In his rookie season, Melifonwu appeared in five games and made one start, but spent 10 weeks on injured reserve with knee and hip injuries. Adding injury to injury, the safety suffered what the team termed a "lower body injury" last week. He leaves Oakland with just seven tackles to his name.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport noted that, aside from injuries, one reason Melifonwu was waived was because Oakland "never quite felt he loved football enough."
Melifonwu was Oakland's second pick in the 2017 draft and was selected one round after fellow injury-prone defensive back Gareon Conley, who played in just two games last season.
Melifonwu will hit waivers next. If he goes unclaimed, he will revert back to Oakland's injured reserve. Once he's healthy, the Raiders can release him.