Jon Gruden hinted at big changes coming when he spoke to the media on Monday and he hasn’t disappointed. The Oakland Raiders let go of three defensive players on Tuesday. Those spots remained open until now. The team announced that they have signed two players and promoted another one from the practice squad.
Defensive lineman Olsen Pierre was previously brought in for a workout before the game against the Tennessee Titans and the team clearly liked what they saw in him. The veteran has spent time with the New York Giants and Arizona Cardinals. His most notable season was his rookie one. He put up 5.5 sacks that season.
Tight end Eric Tomlinson is meant to help replace Foster Moreau, who was recently put on injured reserve. He spent most of his career with the New York Jets and was recently a member of the New England Patriots. He’s started 31 games in his four-year career but doesn’t have many receiving stats. He’ll mostly serve as a blocker.
Fans should be familiar with Nick Nelson as he started a couple of games for the team last season. He lost his roster spot after a horrific preseason, but it looks like he’s paid his dues on the practice squad.
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Practice Squad Shake-Up
The active roster wasn’t the only one that saw big changes. The Raiders also switched a lot of things up on the practice squad. They added tight end Paul Butler, linebacker Te’von Coney and offensive lineman Kyle Kalis. In addition to Nick Nelson’s promotion making room, the team also let go of tight end Cole Wick.
For those who have been following the Raiders since the offseason, Coney and Butler will be familiar names. Coney was an undrafted free agent who stuck around throughout all of training camp. Butler was part of the team’s practice squad last year and remained with the team through training camp. Both Coney and Butler were let go during final roster cuts.
Kalis was also on the team previously, but he was added in the middle of the season. He was recently cut from the practice squad to make room for Jordan Brown and Cole Wick. It looks like the team hadn’t seen enough of him.
Are the Raiders Done Making Moves?
While this is a pretty big roster overhaul for the Raiders this late in the season, none of the moves are particularly mind-blowing. The three players the team cut on Tuesday were players who weren’t on the team very long. Also, the three players the team added on Wednesday are unlikely to move the needle in any significant way. They all figure to serve in backup roles for the time being.
Through the course of the last three games of the year for Oakland, it’s likely they’ll continue to make adjustments to the roster. However, it’s becoming very clear they intend on adding a big name like Eric Berry or Dez Bryant anytime soon. With the playoffs pretty much out of reach, the Raiders should focus on evaluating their current talent.