ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders cut 32 players on Saturday, trimming their roster to the NFL-mandated 53 players. Here’s a closer look at the final cuts:
Most significant move: Where do we start? No doubt trading away Khalil Mack to the Bears created the biggest splash, but when it came to cutting a player, the Raiders washing their hands of receiver Martavis Bryant speaks volumes. After all, the Raiders gave the Steelers a third-round pick for Bryant in April, and while coach Jon Gruden did not hide his displeasure for Bryant’s apparent lack of mastering the offense and work ethic, cutting bait did not seem an option. Especially after the Raiders dealt another receiver they had just acquired in Ryan Switzer. It’s not a good look, especially not with Gruden referring to Bryant as an elusive “white tiger” who had to be seen to be believed. Thing is, Bryant was rarely seen.
Overhauling the D-line: The shuttling off of Mack was shocking, sure, but dropping a second-round draft pick in Mario Edwards Jr. left the Raiders’ defensive line with precious little experience. Yes, he has dealt with injuries and had troubles staying on the field. And Gruden has a hard time stomaching players who are, ahem, unavailable. Edwards' departure opens up the starting left DT for P.J. Hall and Maurice Hurst. It also means the Raiders only have one of general manager Reggie McKenzie’s five second-round draft picks from 2013 through 2017 on the 53-man roster ... QB Derek Carr.
Who’s the kicker/backup QB?: Maybe the Raiders moved too quick in releasing incumbent Giorgio Tavecchio early in camp and anointing undrafted rookie Eddy Piñeiro the kicker. Because while the Raiders now enter the season with Mike Nugent booting the ball, he was supposed to just be a veteran for Piñeiro to lean on late in camp. Instead, a groin injury forced the Raiders’ hand as he was placed on injured reserve. Nugent was a second-round draft pick of the Jets in 2005 and is on his seventh team, having converted 81 percent of his 305 career field-goal attempts. And while it was no secret Gruden was less than thrilled with either Connor Cook or EJ Manuel as Derek Carr’s backup, Gruden cutting both and trading for AJ McCarron still seems strange.
Waived (27): WR Marcell Ateman, TE Marcus Baugh, WR Saeed Blacknall, TE Pharaoh Brown, WR Martavis Bryant, RB James Butler, TE Paul Butler, LB Jason Cabinda, CB Jarell Carter, QB Connor Cook, LB James Cowser, CB Antwuan Davis, DE Mario Edwards Jr., DT Connor Flagel, CB Antonio Hamilton, G Cameron Hunt, OL Denver Kirkland, S Dallin Leavitt, S Quincy Mauger, CB Raysean Pringle, G Jordan Simmons, DL Shakir Soto, LB Azeem Victor, OT Jylan Ware, WR Isaac Whitney, DT Gabe Wright, FB Ryan Yurachek.
Waived/injured (1): CB Dexter McDonald.
Injured reserve (2): K Eddy Piñeiro, RB Chris Warren III.
PUP (1): DT Eddie Vanderdoes.