Raiders former starting fullback Oren O’Neal has been waived by the team as announced by head coach Tom Cable on Friday.
O’Neal was not on the practice field for the morning session of the Raiders’ mandatory mini camp which led many to wonder what the reason could be. Now we know.
O’Neal was the Raiders 7th round selection in the 2007 draft out of Arkansas State. He came out the gates looking fantastic and won the starting job out of camp. However, the past two seasons have been mired with injuries including keeping him on out for the entirety of last season.
The Raiders acted fast after the draft in signing undrafted free agent FB Manase Tonga out of BYU. Soon to follow was the signing of another UDFA in FB Chane Moline out of UCLA. These two signings no doubt quickly ushered in the end of the short lived Oren O’Neal era in Oakland.
Last year’s starter, Luke Lawton is practicing with the team but is set to be suspended the first four games of the season and will most likely be released before the final roster is set.
Other possible fullbacks currently in camp with the team include Gary Russell and Marcell Reece. And in a surprising development, 6th round pick LB Travis Goethel was running sets at fullback in the first mini camp practice. Cable was asked about it and he told reporters that Goethel has a fullback background.
So it appears this team is stacked with fullbacks. O’Neal was simply the lowest on that long list.