ALAMEDA – The Raiders’ initial 53-man roster assembled for Sunday’s practice, the first session as a slimmed-down unit.
Sio Moore wasn’t in attendance. He’s in Indianapolis after being traded to the Colts on Friday for a sixth-round draft pick.
Moore wouldn’t have been here, even if that trade didn’t happen. Head coach Jack Del Rio made that clear after practice, when he discussed the trade for the first time.
“He wasn’t going to make our team,” Del Rio said. “We had depth there that we’re really happy about.”
Free-agent signee Malcolm Smith took a stranglehold on Moore’s weakside linebacker spot while the incumbent starter was recovering from hip surgery in training camp. Curtis Lofton was brought in to man the middle, with fifth-round picks Ben Heeney and Neiron Ball developing fast.
“We brought in two free agent linebackers that are both playing really well,” Del Rio said. “We brought in two draft picks that are both playing pretty well. We developed a guy at the position that’s returning in Ray-Ray [Armstrong] and we added a guy that we think is a real core difference maker on special teams (in Lorenzo Alexander).
“We’ve got a full group. It was an opportunity to acquire a pick for a guy that somebody else may want to have.”
Moore had clearly fallen out of Del Rio’s good graces. He said Moore was competing to be a role player after returning to practice two weeks ago. The coaching staff never practiced Moore with the first team, and he barely played defense in two preseason games after regaining health. That was a sure sign Moore wasn’t a good fit now or in the team’s future plans.