It took awhile, but the Oakland Raiders finally announced who was cut on Saturday as the team whittled down to its fist 53 man roster as per league rules prior to Saturday’s 3:00 p.m. deadline. Trying to gain an advantage in keeping some of those waived players for their practice squad, Oakland was one of the last teams to release their official list of cuts, leaving everyone to fend for themselves for information after Dennis Allen kept quiet during his Friday conference call on roster issues.
In the end Dennis Allen and Reggie McKenzie opened eyebrows across the league with an unorthodox first 53 Man Roster of 2013, keeping all four of their preseason quarterbacks by holding onto both of their rookies in Tyler Wilson and Matt McGloin before also naming double punters in Chris Kluwe and Marquette King to the roster. That is four quarterbacks and two punters taking up roster spots for those keeping score at home.
It is assumed that one of those positions will have someone traded before Week One, likely at punter as Reggie McKenzie thinks that he can get some value for either the veteran Kluwe or the intriguing project in King.
At quarterback Oakland just found too much talent for the third string position at the draft, the fourth round pick in Tyler Wilson earning his spot on the team at the same time as undrafted quarterback Matt McGloin, putting Dennis Allen in a tough spot. For now he will take four quarterbacks instead of risking losing one in the waiver wire, a smart move considering that Wilson and McGloin are bright rookie prospects under center.
On defense the most notable cuts were Andre Carter and Omar Gaither as the California and Tennessee products were expected to make the team at the start of training camp, but were instead amongst five released Raiders on Saturday. Given how poor Oakland’s pass rush was at points this preseason it is likely that some of that blame was placed on the performance of Carter at defensive end and Gaither at linebacker.
Oakland also notably waived tight end Richard Gordon and slot receiver Connor Vernon on Saturday. Gordon’s blocking was expected to make him a favorite for the Raiders starting tight end job alongside David Ausberry while Vernon is a rookie from Duke whose injury issues at training camp didn’t give him much of a chance to make enough of an impression to make the 53 Man Roster. Both players will hopefully fall through the waiver wire and onto Oakland’s practice squad.
The “53 Man Roster” only has 52 players as Oakland made enough moves to have the flexibility to add a player off the heap of cuts this week right off the bat, a shrewd move from McKenzie and Allen. Expect that 53rd roster spot to be filled quickly.
Here is the complete list of roster moves Oakland made on Saturday to cut down to 52 players:
Released the following players:
Carter, Andre DE 6-4 260 13 California
Gaither, Omar LB 6-1 235 8 Tennessee
Hanson, Joselio CB 5-9 185 9 Texas Tech
Hills, Tony T 6-5 304 6 Texas
Smith, Reggie S 6-1 192 5 Oklahoma
Waived the following players:
Baker, Ryan DL 6-5 302 5 Purdue
Bass, David DE 6-4 256 R Missouri Western St.
Boyko, Billy LB 6-2 240 R Lehigh
Casey, Chance CB 5-11 190 R Baylor
Foster, Jason G 6-3 300 1 Rhode Island
Gordon, Richard TE 6-4 268 3 Miami (Fla.)
Jenkins, Greg WR 6-1 208 R Alabama St.
Johnson, Shelton S 6-0 197 R Wisconsin
Leonhardt, Brian TE 6-5 255 R Bemidji St.
Mady, Lamar G 6-2 315 R Youngstown St.
Medlock, Justin K 5-11 200 3 UCLA
Taufa’asau, Kurt DT 6-2 300 R Wyoming
Thomas, Chase LB 6-3 241 R Stanford
Vernon, Conner WR 6-0 192 R Duke
Williams, Deonte RB 5-10 213 R Cal Poly
Waived/Injured the following player:
Smith, Willie T 6-5 310 3 East Carolina
Placed the following player on Reserve/Injured:
Bergstrom, Tony OL 6-5 310 2 Utah
League placed the following player on Reserve/Suspended:
Holmes, Andre WR 6-4 210 2 Hillsdale