AFC West: John Idzik

It appears John Idzik was correct.

The Oakland Raiders are in the process of cuttting receiver/returner Josh Cribbs on Sunday, according to several media reports.

Oakland was hoping Cribbs, who was signed in the offseason, could give a spark to the offense and to the return game. But in Oakland, he never got back to his glory days like he was in Cleveland. Cribbs had offseason knee surgery and it slowed him down. Idzik, the New York Jets’ general manager, said the Jets passed on Cribbs because he doubted Cribbs would be ready to be effective by the start of the regular season.

It was going to be difficult for Oakland to keep both Cribbs and Jacoby Ford, as they're similar players. Now that Ford appears healthy for the first time in almost two years, keeping him over Cribbs makes sense. Also, Ford is younger and he is a better player at this point.

Comcast Bay Area reports these other cuts: Keenan Clayton, Eric Harper, Sam McGuffie, Cory Nelms, Tray Session, Andrew Robiskie and Myles Wade.

Also, as expected, several outlets, reported quarterback Terrelle Pryor worked some with the first team Sunday as did rookie Menelik Watson at left tackle. Oakland coach Dennis Allen indicated both were possible. As we discussed Saturday, making Pryor the starter over Matt Flynn is the right thing to do and probably just a matter of time. Allen indicated he will name a starter some time before the season opens Sept. 8.
A day after New York Jets general manager John Idzik said he didn’t think Josh Cribbs was healthy, the aging but dynamic return man has signed with the Oakland Raiders.

The longtime Cleveland receiver/returner nearly signed with Arizona earlier in free agency, but he was recovering from a knee injury. He started visiting teams last week with the Raiders being the first team he visited. He visited three other teams, including the Jets. The fact that Cribbs may not be completely healthy right now is not a huge deal. He will get there.

Oakland will look at Cribbs primarily as a return man. He is tied for the most career kick returns for a touchdown in NFL history with eight. Cribbs, who will turn 30 next month, is primarily a returner. He has had more than 23 catches in a season just once when he had 41 in 2011.

I don’t see this as being a bad signing for Oakland. It’s a low-risk move. If Cribbs still has something in the tank, he can help the team.

It is also insurance in case Jacoby Ford can’t return from a foot injury that kept him out for the 2012 season and for six games in the previous season. Ford and Cribbs are similar players, with Ford giving more in the passing game. But it could come down to keeping either player, especially if some rookie receiver like Brice Butler or Conner Vernon makes a huge push to make the 53-man roster. The team can only keep so many receivers.

So, it could come down to health between Ford and Cribbs.

In other AFC West notes:

Former Kansas quarterback Dayne Crist signed with Baltimore. He tried out for the Chiefs last week.

Wednesday was the last day for Amy Trask in Oakland. She resigned as Raiders CEO four days ago. The team took out a full-page ad in a local paper to thank Trask for her quarter century of service.