It's official. Reggie McKenzie has cleaned out another coveted Al Davis draft pick.
The Contra Costa Times reported that offensive lineman Joe Barksdale was cut Wednesday. There were conflicting reports earlier in the day. Barksdale was a third-round pick in 2011. The late Al Davis traded his second-round pick in 2012 for a package in which Barksdale was the focal point.
To replace Barksdale, Oakland signed pass-rusher Andre Carter. I will have some thoughts on that signing shortly.
McKenzie, who replaced Davis as Oakland’s top decision maker, has cut higher-round 2011 picks this year. Barksdale joins join fellow 2011 draft picks DeMarcus Van Dyke (cornerback, third round) and Chimdi Chewka (cornerback, fourth round) off the roster, Chewka is on the Oakland practice squad.
There was a thought Barksdale would compete for the starting right tackle job this year, but he has been inactive all three games. With Khalif Barnes out with an injury, newly claimed Willie Smith has taken over instead of Barksdale.
Like former Davis draft choice Bruce Campbell (who was traded to Carolina by McKenzie), I don’t think the Raiders thought Barksdale fit the zone-blocking scheme.
I’d expect Barksdale to get a chance elsewhere. He can be claimed by Thursday. However, because it is late in the work week, I’m not sure a team would be willing to make a roster move at this point. So perhaps Barksdale will clear waivers.
Meanwhile, the San Francisco Chronicle reports Oakland receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey is at the team’s facility and is undergoing concussion tests. The paper indicated Heyward-Bey will likely return Oct. 14 at Atlanta. The Raiders play at Denver this week and then have a bye.
I think everyone involved would accept Heyward-Bey missing one game after the terrible hit he took Sunday against Pittsburgh. Heyward-Bey spent Sunday night in a hospital for neck and concussion injuries. The Steelers’ Ryan Mundy was fined $21,000 for the hit.