5 surprise moves by Raiders at cut deadline and what to make of them

There are always surprises that happen at the cutdown deadline for each team. High profile free agents are signed, players are drafted and hyped up, and camp reports have everyone excited about players only to see them let go.

1. Swing tackle shuffle

The surprise here is the combination of moves by the Raiders. First it was the trade of David Sharpe to Washington, which in and of itself is no big surprise. Sharpe was in a competition to be the team’s swing tackle, but it was clear Sam Young was leading the way in that area. I even asked offensive coordinator Greg Olson why the team felt comfortable making that move, and his response confirmed Young’s value.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="“Well, Sam Young came in, one of the players that we signed in the offseason and had a very good camp, so it made it a little bit easier to make that move,” Olson responded. “We like Sam and we like the development of Brandon Parker.”» data-reactid=»16″>“Well, Sam Young came in, one of the players that we signed in the offseason and had a very good camp, so it made it a little bit easier to make that move,” Olson responded. “We like Sam and we like the development of Brandon Parker.”

Then Sam Young was among the players released, while Parker made the 53-man roster. Sharpe outplayed Parker in relief of Trent Brown last season.

Making sense of it:

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Teams will often release a veteran and keep the developmental player for now, and a few days later, they do the switcheroo. They do this often. They did it with Kyle Wilber and Josh Mauro last season, signing both back a few days after the waiver period and placing Isaiah Johnson and Nathan Peterman on IR with designation to return. Alternatively, they could bring Young back after the first game of the season, signing him to a non-guaranteed contract.» data-reactid=»23″>Teams will often release a veteran and keep the developmental player for now, and a few days later, they do the switcheroo. They do this often. They did it with Kyle Wilber and Josh Mauro last season, signing both back a few days after the waiver period and placing Isaiah Johnson and Nathan Peterman on IR with designation to return. Alternatively, they could bring Young back after the first game of the season, signing him to a non-guaranteed contract.

<form class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content=" » data-reactid=»24″>

Like this article?

Sign up for the Raiders Wire email newsletter to get our top stories in your inbox every morning

An error has occured

Please re-enter your email address.

Thanks for signing up!

You’ll now receive the top Raiders Wire stories each day directly in your inbox.

2. RB Lynn Bowden Jr. traded to Miami

This one stunned everyone. The rookie third round pick was sent to Miami along with a conditional sixth-round pick in exchange for a fourth-round pick. Essentially getting a lower draft pick than they spent on him before he ever saw the field.

From the outset this is a wasted draft pick. There is no way around that. They knew he was a project when they drafted him and then gave up on that project after a few weeks of practice.

Making sense of it:

I don’t like spin or excuses, so let’s just make that clear here. But to make sense of it, the Raiders tried him at various positions and found someone else they liked better at each of them. He wasn’t ready to make the switch to running back, and from the sounds of it, they doubted he ever would be. Hence the Dolphins switching him back to wide receiver.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The backup running back is Devontae Booker, receiver out of the backfield is Jalen Richard, and Rico Gafford made the squad and it appears he did so in part by winning the return job over Bowden. And if they want a RPO QB option, they have Marcus Mariota. In the Raiders eyes, they made a mistake and wanted to try and not come out of it empty-handed while not having a player on the roster who was inactive on game days.» data-reactid=»36″>The backup running back is Devontae Booker, receiver out of the backfield is Jalen Richard, and Rico Gafford made the squad and it appears he did so in part by winning the return job over Bowden. And if they want a RPO QB option, they have Marcus Mariota. In the Raiders eyes, they made a mistake and wanted to try and not come out of it empty-handed while not having a player on the roster who was inactive on game days.

<form class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content=" » data-reactid=»37″>

Like this article?

Sign up for the Raiders Wire email newsletter to get our top stories in your inbox every morning

An error has occured

Please re-enter your email address.

Thanks for signing up!

You’ll now receive the top Raiders Wire stories each day directly in your inbox.

<h3 class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="3. FS Damarious Randall released» data-reactid=»44″>3. FS Damarious Randall released

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The team is eating $1.5 million in dead money by signing Randall this offseason then releasing him. With him, they had great depth at the safety spot. Now they have Johnathan Abram and Erik Harris as the starters and Jeff Heath as the backup.» data-reactid=»45″>The team is eating $1.5 million in dead money by signing Randall this offseason then releasing him. With him, they had great depth at the safety spot. Now they have Johnathan Abram and Erik Harris as the starters and Jeff Heath as the backup.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Making sense of it: Erik Harris won the starting job. Randall is a veteran who doesn’t play special teams. That’s it first and foremost. Backups need to play special teams as roster spots are at a premium. They have that in Heath and Dallin Leavitt, who once again defied all the predictors and made the Raiders roster.» data-reactid=»46″>Making sense of it: Erik Harris won the starting job. Randall is a veteran who doesn’t play special teams. That’s it first and foremost. Backups need to play special teams as roster spots are at a premium. They have that in Heath and Dallin Leavitt, who once again defied all the predictors and made the Raiders roster.

<form class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content=" » data-reactid=»47″>

Like this article?

Sign up for the Raiders Wire email newsletter to get our top stories in your inbox every morning

An error has occured

Please re-enter your email address.

Thanks for signing up!

You’ll now receive the top Raiders Wire stories each day directly in your inbox.

4. CB Prince Amukamara released

There was a good deal of excitement among Raiders fans when the team added Amukamara. They had tried to sign Eli Apple and the deal fell through, so they got Amukamara and most — including myself — thought he was an even better get. Then camp came.

Making sense of it:

Amukamara did not impress in camp. Who did impress was rookie Damon Arnette, despite breaking his thumb during camp. Amukamara was to be insurance for when Arnette was ready to go and Arnette looked like he already was.

And with a stable of promising young corners behind him, like Keisean Nixon, Amik Robertson, and Isaiah Johnson, they weren’t willing to lose one of them in order to keep Amukamara.

<form class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content=" » data-reactid=»63″>

Like this article?

Sign up for the Raiders Wire email newsletter to get our top stories in your inbox every morning

An error has occured

Please re-enter your email address.

Thanks for signing up!

You’ll now receive the top Raiders Wire stories each day directly in your inbox.

5. Linebackers Javin White and Kyle Wilber both cut

Wilber has been a special teams captain for the Raiders the past two seasons. He occasionally saw time on defense at off-ball linebacker and even on the line at times. White was talked up a lot early in camp and was a great story as an undrafted rookie out of UNLV who grew up in Oakland.

Making sense of it:

As mentioned earlier in this piece, the Raiders had Wilber on the final cuts last year as well only to bring him back a few days later. But at 31 years of age and with a more bulked up linebacker corps, it wouldn’t be shocking if this cut is permanent.

As for White, with no preseason, other teams had nothing to see that would tempt them to swoop in and steal him away, so the Raiders feel pretty confident he will clear waivers and be there for the practice squad.

<form class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content=" » data-reactid=»75″>

Like this article?

Sign up for the Raiders Wire email newsletter to get our top stories in your inbox every morning

An error has occured

Please re-enter your email address.

Thanks for signing up!

You’ll now receive the top Raiders Wire stories each day directly in your inbox.