The Raiders announced their “final” cuts on Saturday as was mandated. But based on the roster that remains, this will not really be the once-and-for-all roster. No, the team will be moving a few pieces around in the coming days and weeks. Here are my predictions as to what those moves will be.
We haven’t seen the last of Edwards, Williams, and Loper
There were a few vested veterans who were cut in the final roster moves. Among them were QB Trent Edwards, LB Sam Williams, and OG Daniel Loper. I predict all three will be re-signed by the team after week one of the season. Providing, of course, they don’t get swiped up by other teams.
All three of them leave their position groups thin. With Edwards out, the Raiders have just two eligible QB’s heading into the season. Sam Williams was the only depth behind Kamerion Wimbley at strongside linebacker. And Loper was once pegged as the starter at left guard before being supplanted by Stefen Wisniewski. Loper was also due a large paycheck which would have been fine for a starter but not for a backup. Releasing him means the team won’t have to pay that salary. But they like him and he is, like the other two, the only depth behind the starter.
Bloated roster spots will get thin
As the above vets are re-signed (or possibly sooner), we will bid farewell to Michael Bennett, Seth Wand, and Nick Miller. Bennett will be the odd man out on a five man running back group, Wand is the fifth offensive tackle and they will likely only carry four, and Nick is the last man of seven receivers.
UPDATE: Seth Wand was cut to make room for re-signing of Ricky Brown (a bold prediction below)
UPDATE: Michael Bennett has been released to make room for re-signing safety Matt Giordano
Gordon is acting Boss
Richard Gordon made the final 53 and is the fourth tight end on a Raiders team that kept just two last season. This could mean that Kevin Boss is not quite as healthy or as “close” as we were led to believe. It could mean he will miss the season opener against the Broncos. Gordon being retained at least says that Boss’s health is questionable. But as soon as Boss is back on the field with the team, Gordon’s days are numbered. I predict the Raiders will re-sign someone they initially cut and then cut Gordon. Gordon will then be signed to the practice squad.
UPDATE: Kevin Boss has not practiced this week. His status for the opener will be known Thursday.
UPDATE: The Raiders have re-signed recently cut Matt Giordano.
Porter should keep his bags packed, new corner incoming
The Raiders made the most cuts to their secondary. On Saturday they cut Walter McFadden, Jeremy Ware, Sterling Moore, and Lito Sheppard. This leaves them with five corners on the roster. Or does it? Chimdi Chekwa has been used as a safety in preseason. Mike Mitchell is injured and the team cut safety Stevie Brown which could mean Chekwa will stay at safety. Joe Porter was a surprise to make the team altogether and is more of a special teams player. Outside of Chris Johnson, Stanford Routt, and Demarcus Van Dyke, there ain’t much. That means the Raiders will be looking to sign a newly waived corner. There are a few out there now. Former Eagle CB Joselio Hanson comes to mind.
Sterling will be Silver this season
I also predict that rookie undrafted free agent Sterling Moore will be placed on the practice squad and be called up to the active roster some time this season.
UPDATE: Sterling Moore has been signed to the Raiders practice squad. Half way there.
Linebacker skeleton crew will gain midshipman
The Raiders will sign a middle linebacker within the next few days. No need to trade for one as he will be depth only. They will scan the waiver wires in the next day or so and sign a player. One player who seems like a candidate is former Raider Ricky Brown who was cut by the Patriots. It just makes too much sense not to happen. Or maybe it makes so much sense that it won’t happen? Hard to say with the Raiders. With the new arrival, second generation Legend player Bruce Davis Jr will become legend once again.
UPDATE: Ricky Brown was signed by the Raiders. He is wearing his old #57. They released Seth Wand to make room.
Rookies who will make the practice squad
As I mentioned on Twitter after the cuts were revealed, I see the new rookies on the practice squad being “Sterling [Moore]… DE Mason Brodine, WR Eddie McGee, DT Jamie Cumbie, and [eventually] TE Richard Gordon”.
UPDATE: The Raiders have announced their practice squad. All of these rookies (except Gordon of course) are on the squad. Jeremy Leman, who was signed off waivers from the Chargers was also put on the practice squad. They join second year practice squad members Manase Tonga, Alex Parsons, and Kevin Brock.
I will stand by my predictions and if I am wrong, I will admit it. But if I am right, I will hurt my arm patting myself on the back.
To bear witness to my self-righteous back patting, follow me on Twitter @LeviDamien or befriend me on Facebook.