The Raiders made news league-wide yesterday when they had an unusual “final” roster after the league’s cut day. The Raiders not only retained 4 QBs, unusual in itself although not too rare, but they also kept 2 punters on their squad of 53 players which is something I’ve never encountered before.
Of course cutting to the 53 players that are currently on the team is just one step in a process of finding all the right pieces for the team and there are several moves that will occur from here.
I am going to do my best to attempt to predict the moves that the Raiders will undertake in the next few days.
The Raiders have a definite need at OL and LB after yesterday. MLB is the biggest need, where the Raiders cut Omar Gaither, their only backup behind starter Nick Roach.
To see a projected depth chart with the current roster, click here.
I think the Raiders may actually re-sign Gaither after some other moves, so that’s what I’ll predict, here. The Raiders must keep Jared Veldheer on the team until right before week 1, when they can put him on the IR (designated to return) list. I predict that Gaither will be resigned once that happens to take the spot vacated by Veldheer.
Step one – claim the desired players from cuts yesterday:
I am by no means an expert on other teams’ players but here are some players that were cut yesterday that could be claimed and fit an area of need:
* OLB Thomas Keiser – 6’3”. San Diego Chargers. A UDFA in 2011, this move just makes too much sense. Keiser fits a need, depth at OLB, went to Stanford – where the Raiders found DC Jason Tarver – and he’s had a strong preseason. Per PFT, Keiser had three sacks, one hit and four hurries on 34 pass rushes this preseason.
*DT AJ Jenkins – 6’5” 309. Miami Dolphins. A UDFA that showed a lot of promise but was cut in a numbers game in Miami where DT is deep.
* DT Drake Nevis – 6’1” 310. Indianapolis Colts. Going into his third year, the large DT has some good game experience having appeared in 14 games in his first two years and starting three. He was a third-round pick in 2011. He is credited with 2 sacks in preseason, one a coverage sack.
If the Raiders claimed either of the DTs, I think third-round pick Stacy McGee could be the odd man out as he has struggled in the preseason for the Silver and Black.
Step two – corresponding moves:
I can’t pretend to know how the 4 QBs, 2 Punters situation will finally resolve but I’ll be shocked if the Raiders have more than 3 QBs at the start of the season and if they have 2 punters on the team, still, I’ll eat my computer.
Per Peter King, the Raiders are trying to trade one of the punters. I strongly doubt that works and one of the punters will have to be released. I’m still going with Marquette King as the winner of the competition, so that means that Chris Kluwe is my prediction for the cut.
On the quarterback end, I think the Raiders may be trying to trade Tyler Wilson as I doubt any other team has interest in Matt McGloin. If they cannot move Wilson, it looks like McGloin on the final roster over Wilson at this time.
Alternately, they may cut McGloin after other teams make their waiver moves in the hopes that teams will make their decisions and then not be as interested in claiming McGloin later and let him clear waivers where he would go to the Raiders practice squad.
Step three – finalize the squad:
As mentioned earlier, the team needs to get Jared Veldheer to the IR with the return designation. They’ll have to add some depth before week 1’s game versus the Colts.
However, just because some players make it to the first week of the season, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will continue on the team, either. Vested veterans that are on the roster at the start of week one get their base salary for the year fully guaranteed.
Consequently, veterans that are on the bubble are frequently cut and re-signed after week 1 so that they do not have a fully guaranteed salary. Omar Gaither, for example, could have this happen.
It’s always a strange and wacky time at cut day and this year was no different. The Raiders suffer from a dearth of talent and today’s waiver claims will be important for the team’s 2013 season and beyond.
For updates on today’s Raiders moves, follow me on Twitter @AsherMathews