ALAMEDA, CALIF. (AP) - Coach Tom Cable called this year’s roster cuts the most difficult in his four years with the Oakland Raiders.
The most noteworthy of 21 initial cuts he made Saturday was defensive end Jay Richardson, who started much of his first two years in the NFL before being relegated to a reserve role last season.
Richardson started 22 games in 2007 and ‘08, but had knee surgery in training camp and never was healthy enough to return to the practice field.
“I thought there were about four or five decisions in there that were tough,” Cable said when he announced the moves that reduced Oakland’s roster from 75 to 53.
The ordeal made for some nervous times for those on the roster bubble. Receiver Nick Miller, who made the team as an undrafted free agent last year but was unable to play because of injuries, was among the lucky players.
“We came in this morning and they started weeding us out,” Miller said. “I was a little nervous. I didn’t sleep as well as I normally do.”
Center Chris Morris, who started 10 games at center and guard for Oakland in 2009, was among those cut. The other players let go were wide receivers Todd Watkins and Shaun Bodiford; defensive backs Stevie Brown, Jerome Boyd, Joe Porter and Joe Thomas; defensive linemen Chris Cooper, Alex Daniels, Grayson Gunheim and William Joseph; fullback Manase Tonga; linebackers David Nixon and Slade Norris; offensive linemen Alex Parsons and Brandon Rodd; quarterback Colt Brennan; tight end John Owens; and kicker Swayze Waters.
Richardson, Thomas and Daniels were all waived with injuries.
Fullback Luke Lawton is suspended for the first two games and does not count against the roster.
Some of those players could come back as part of the eight-man practice squad if they clear waivers.
The Raiders are carrying only two tight ends and one fullback, although that could change if the team signs a player cut by another team in the coming days.
(This version CORRECTS Updates with final cut, corrects Luke Lawton from waived to on suspended list; clarifies 3 players who were waived injured)