The Las Vegas Raiders kept busy ahead of the roster cut deadline. The team faced some tough decisions, including waiving 2021 first-round pick Alex Leatherwood and trading former second-round pick Trayvon Mullen. Las Vegas made most of their big cuts and trades before the official release of the initial 53-man roster so there weren’t any huge surprises once the announcement came.
The Raiders announced the release of six players and waived 15 more. The most notable cut that the team announced was wide receiver Keelan Cole.
The veteran was expected to compete for the No. 3 wide receiver spot on the offense but ended up getting beaten out by Mack Hollins, DJ Turner and Tyron Johnson. Cole has had success in his career, accumulating over 600 receiving yards in two seasons. The writing was on the wall for him when he had to play a lot of snaps in the last preseason game against the New England Patriots. Cole is a solid veteran and should land with another team. He just couldn’t carve out a role in Las Vegas.
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Other Notable Roster Cuts
The other biggest name to get cut was cornerback Darius Phillips. He played 47 games over the last four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. He’s only started in 10 games but was expected to provide solid depth. Phillips getting cut means that rookie Sam Webb and third-year pro Amik Robertson are on the initial roster. Nobody could’ve predicted Webb making the roster at the start of training camp but he was very impressive in the preseason. Robertson had some hype coming out of college but has struggled in the NFL. The new Raiders coaching staff has clearly seen enough from him to believe he deserves a roster spot.
Defensive tackle Kyle Peko was also cut, which is a bit surprising. He was of the only defensive tackles on the roster to have more than 1.0 sacks last season. Wide receiver Dillon Stoner also got the ax. The former Oklahoma State standout was a favorite of the previous coaching staff but couldn’t outshine Turner to earn a spot as the backup slot receiver to Hunter Renfrow.
Practice Squad Candidates
While it’s tough for these players to get cut right now, many of them will be brought back on the practice squad. Stoner and Cole are strong candidates to be brought back. The Raiders decided to keep just two quarterbacks on the active roster in Derek Carr and Jarrett Stidham. Rookie Chase Garbers was cut but could be brought back on the practice squad. The team will need at least one practice squad quarterback.
Rookie defensive end Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa showed some flashes in the preseason and could get another chance on the practice squad. Offensive tackle Bamidele Olaseni is another likely candidate. There will be more roster movements in the coming days as the Raiders will also likely bring in some new faces that were released by their previous teams.
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