The Oakland Raiders have decided to cut offensive tackle Austin Howard and running back Taiwan Jones as veterans are set to report to training camp.
With the news of the release of back up running back and special teams ace Taiwan Jones comes the end of an era. Jones was the last player to be drafted under the ownership of the late Al Davis.
Selected in the fourth round of the 2011 draft, Jones was never able to completely find his way with the team.
In his rookie season, Jones saw action at both running back and on special teams. In 2013, he made a switch to the defensive side of the ball as a cornerback. However, that move did not last long.
In 2015, when head coach Jack Del Rio took over, Jones again was forced to make a position change back to running back. Jones totaled 44 carries for 183 yards rushing, along with 17 receptions for 240 yards and one touchdown during his time in Silver and Black.
Jones should be able to find work before the season begins. He became a key member to the Raiders special teams unit last season. With his 4.3-second 40 speed, he developed into an excellent gunner on the punt team.
The cuts continued with the announcement that former starting right tackle Austin Howard was given his walking papers. Howard posted a message on his Instagram page thanking the fans of Raider Nation.
The move comes as no surprise, Howard is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery and the Raiders signed Marshall Newhouse to compete for the starting right tackle position.
In addition to signing Newhouse, the Raiders selected David Sharpe in the fourth round of this year’s draft and still have second-year man Vadal Alexander.
Largely a disappointment in his three years with the Raiders, Howard was a reliable when available. Howard started 39 of the 40 games he played in.