The Raiders must trim their roster to 53 players by Saturday afternoon, a gut-wrenching exercise for those handing out and receiving pink slips.
It’s no fun for anyone as NFL dreams get dashed possibly for the final time.
Raiders roster cuts are harder this year than the last few, and that’s a good thing. The Raiders have more talent, meaning some good players won’t be around for the regular season.
Thursday’s exhibition finale played a minor role in the evaluation process, where a body of work is analyzed before choosing a team to carry forward.
This doesn’t mean the roster is set. It will turnover quickly as players become available the waiver wire. There will be 22 players getting cut in the coming hours and days.
Here’s a look at Raiders players who were released as the roster slims down:
-- Fresno State alum and former 49er Devon Wylie announced that he had been cut on social media. The receiver and return man had limited opportunities to prove himself on special teams save the preseason finale. It looks like the Raiders will use position players in the return game.
-- Defensive lineman Shelby Harris announced on Twitter that he has been waived by the Raiders. Harris had a solid preseason and made several big plays.
-- Defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin had a solid preseason and earned a real chance to make the 53-man roster, but said on Twitter that things didn't go as planned.
-- The Raiders had roster room for running back Michael Dyer, but he won't make the regular season roster according to an ESPN report. Dyer flashed during training camp practices, but didn't perform well enough during preseason games to take hold of a backup running back job. He's also a candidate for the practice squad, though he's also 25 and might be a bit old to develop for the long term.
-- The Raiders will waive tight end Brian Leonhardt, who played a major role on last year's squad as a blocking tight end. Veteran free-agent signee Lee Smith fills that role now, meaning Leonhardt wasn't going to stick around.
-- The Raiders plan to release defensive tackle Leon Orr, according to an ESPN report. Orr stood out early in training camp, but fell behind a pack of more experience defensive linemen who formed a solid rotation of run stoppers. The Raiders like the Florida alum, and could end up putting him on the practice squad.
-- Per ESPN, Christian Ponder will be released by the Raiders after losing the battle for the No. 2 job to Matt McGloin, who completed 75 percent of his passes in the preseason. NFL Network reports that the Raiders will try and trade him first. Ponder walks away from his short stint in Oakland with a $1.5 million signing bonus.
-- The Raiders traded linebacker Sio Moore to the Indianapolis Colts for a sixth-round pick. Moore wasn't deemed a good fit by the new Raiders coaching staff, which didn't like his attitude in recent weeks. It became clear he wasn't in the team's future plans after he didn't play much in the preseason after regaining health.