The Oakland Raiders announced their first wave of roster cuts on Friday afternoon as they work to build their 53-man roster, which will be announced Saturday at 1 p.m. PT.
Oakland waived or released 13 players, which brings the roster down to 72. Included in those cuts were Alex Barrett, Eddie Vanderdoes, Makinton Dorleant, Cameron Hunt, Mack Brown, Jordan Richards, Luke Willson, Brandon Marshall, Bryson Allen-Williams, Brandon Barnes, Gabe Wright, Josh Holsey and James Cowser.
Perhaps the biggest surprises were Vanderdoes and Marshall. The Raiders drafted Vanderdoes in the third round in 2017 out of UCLA but after playing all 16 games his rookie season, he missed the entire 2018 campaign. Vanderdoes reported to camp this year still injured and is not ready to go for 2019, forcing him to be waived.
Marshall was one of the guys the Raiders signed this offseason to revamp their defense and bring in some veteran leadership. The linebacker also said that he has been dealing with some injury issues though so didn’t get a chance to prove to the Raiders what he is capable of.
Another player who was unsurprisingly cut was Willson, who was one of the stars on ‘Hard Knocks’ this year. The tight end just fell victim to the numbers game as the team only plans to keep three at his position on the roster.
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden has expressed how difficult this process is numerous times, especially in a year like this one when the Raiders have so much quality talent. He also added that as many as five undrafted rookies could make the 53-man roster because of their play in training camp and the preseason.
In addition to the 53-man roster, the Raiders could also keep 10 players on their practice squad so they should have the ability to keep some of their young talent in the organization.