Saturday, September 4, 2010
Oakland Raiders cutdown analysis
By Bill Williamson
Check here for a full list of Oakland’s roster moves.
Biggest surprise: There wasn’t a lot of surprising names on Oakland’s cut list. Defensive end Jay Richardson can qualify as a mild surprise. Richardson’s departure may mean Trevor Scott will play more end. He was an end who was moved to linebacker and was supposed to start at linebacker. However, he played end in the preseason finale Thursday night. Fullback Luke Lawton was cut and Oakland doesn’t have a traditional fullback on its roster. Center Chris Morris was cut and the team announced rookie Jared Veldheer will be the starting center. The smalls-school Veldheer was drafted as a tackle and played on a limited basis at center in the preseason. But he is a better long-term player than Samsom Satele, who will be the backup. Still, Veldheer will have his hands full as a rookie playing center against NFL competition. Still, he is new blood and Oakland needs an influx talent on the line.
No-brainers: The Raiders didn’t cut any of their draft picks. Oakland really likes this class and if resurgence is under way in Oakland, this class will have a lot to do with it. Defensive tackle John Henderson was kept. There was talk he could be on the bubble. But he is too valuable. He may not be an every-down player, but he can help against the run in a limited role. Second-year receiver Nick Miller was kept. The Raiders really like this small, but tough player. With Michael Bush potentially out several weeks with a broken thumb, the team needed veteran running back Michael Bennett. He had a fine preseason.
What’s next: The Raiders could do anything. Remember, they shocked the league by trading for Richard Seymour last year the day after he roster was set. Expect Oakland to look at veteran receivers, including former Seattle receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh. The team could also look for a veteran center to give Veldheer more time to develop. Also, veterans Thomas Howard and Chris Johnson could still be subject to trade talks if the right deal comes along.