At the start of training camp, linebacker Sio Moore and quarterback Christian Ponder were locks to make the 53-man roster.
Defensive lineman C.J. Wilson’s inclusion was a virtual certainty.
Over the last six weeks, it became clear they didn’t belong on the regular-season roster. Moore wasn’t a good fit with new head coach Jack Del Rio. Ponder was squarely beaten by No. 3 quarterback Matt McGloin. Wilson fell behind younger, more versatile defensive linemen and never recovered.
Moore was traded, and Ponder and Wilson were waived on Saturday afternoon when the Raiders pared the roster to regulation size.
Undrafted rookie running back Michael Dyer had a good chance of making the roster, but his preseason performances weren’t quite good enough to earn a spot. The Raiders will use Taiwan Jones, Marcel Reece and Roy Helu to back up Latavius Murray.
There were some tough cuts among the defensive linemen, including Ricky Lumpkin and Shelby Harris.
The Raiders let go of two rookie draft picks. Offensive tackle Anthony Morris, a seventh-rounder who never panned out, was waived with an injury. Sixth-round defensive end Max Valles wasn’t kept, but should be placed on the practice squad if he passes through waivers. The Virginia alum is a raw talent but needs to develop and could be a good player in time.
Defensive tackle Leon Orr, linebackers Josh Shirley and Gary Wilkins and Dyer are also solid candidates for the practice squad. The practice squad will be announced by Sunday afternoon.
There are some Raiders on the 53-man roster who may join the cut list in coming days as the front office scours the waiver wire for upgrades at certain position groups.
As a note, the Raiders did not have media availability on Saturday. Del Rio will comment on these roster selections after Sunday’s practice.
Here’s a full list of cuts and roster transactions from Saturday:
Waived the following players:
Atkinson III, George, RB
Bell, Mitch, G
Dyer, Michael, RB
Hadley, Spencer, LB
Harris, Shelby, DE
Kistler, Dan, T
Leonhardt, Brian, TE
Lumpkin, Ricky, DT
McDonald, Tevin, S
Orr, Leon, DT
Shirley, Josh, LB
Tavecchio, Giorgio, K
Valles, Max, DE
Wilkins, Gary, DE
Wylie, Devon, WR
Released the following players:
Durham, Kris, WR
Mays, Taylor, S
Ponder, Christian, QB
Wilson, C.J., DL
Waived/Injured the following player:
Morris, Anthony, T
Placed the following player on Reserve/Injured:
Ross, Brandian, S