Immediately following the Raiders announcing their "final" cuts and prior to the start of the regular season, I made a few bold roster shuffling predictions. Based on the roster that remained, it seemed to me that would not really be the once-and-for-all roster, and the team would be moving a few pieces around in the ensuing days and weeks. Here are those bold predictions as well as the actual results to see how well I did.
We haven't seen the last of Edwards, Williams, and Loper
There were a few vested veterans who were cut in the final roster moves. Among them were QB Trent Edwards, LB Sam Williams, and OG Daniel Loper. I predict all three will be re-signed by the team after week one of the season. Providing, of course, they don't get swiped up by other teams.
All three of them leave their position groups thin. With Edwards out, the Raiders have just two eligible QB's heading into the season. Sam Williams was the only depth behind Kamerion Wimbley at strongside linebacker. And Loper was once pegged as the starter at left guard before being supplanted by Stefen Wisniewski. Loper was also due a large paycheck which would have been fine for a starter but not for a backup. Releasing him means the team won't have to pay that salary. But they like him and he is, like the other two, the only depth behind the starter.
RESULT: I was completely wrong on this one. Edwards was not re-signed and even when Jason Campbell went down with injury, he said he would not want to return to Oakland. Sam Williams and Daniel Loper were not re-signed. Williams was one of Al Davis' "scholarship players" so it is not all that surprising he is still unsigned. Loper remained a free agent until last week which was somewhat surprising for a guy who was at one time dubbed the Raiders' starter at left guard. He was signed by the Cowboys on October 18.
Bloated roster spots will get thin
As the above vets are re-signed (or possibly sooner), we will bid farewell to Michael Bennett, Seth Wand, and Nick Miller. Bennett will be the odd man out on a five man running back group, Wand is the fifth offensive tackle and they will likely only carry four, and Nick is the last man of seven receivers.
RESULT: Seth Wand was cut to make room for the re-signing of Ricky Brown (a bold prediction below). Michael Bennett has been released to make room for re-signing safety Matt Giordano. Nick Miller's departure was not after week one as I had thought it would be, but he was eventually cut as well.
Gordon is acting Boss
Richard Gordon made the final 53 and is the fourth tight end on a Raider team that kept just two last season. This could mean that Kevin Boss is not quite as healthy or as "close" as we were led to believe. It could mean he will miss the season opener against the Broncos. Gordon being retained at least says that Boss's health is questionable. But as soon as Boss is back on the field with the team, Gordon's days are numbered. I predict the Raiders will re-sign someone they initially cut and then cut Gordon. Gordon will then be signed to the practice squad.
RESULT: Kevin Boss' injury was indeed worse than we were led to believe, which had him missing the first two weeks of the season. The Raiders did re-sign the previously cut Matt Giordano. However, Gordon was retained on the active roster to fill in at fullback for the injured Marcel Reece. He remains on the roster.
Porter should keep his bags packed, new corner incoming
The Raiders made the most cuts to their secondary. On Saturday they cut Walter McFadden, Jeremy Ware, Sterling Moore, and Lito Sheppard. This leaves them with five corners on the roster. Or does it? Chimdi Chekwa has been used as a safety in preseason. Mike Mitchell is injured and the team cut safety Stevie Brown which could mean Chekwa will stay at safety. Joe Porter was a surprise to make the team altogether and is more of a special teams player. Outside of Chris Johnson, Stanford Routt, and Demarcus Van Dyke, there ain't much. That means the Raiders will be looking to sign a newly waived corner. There are a few out there now. Former Eagle CB Joselio Hanson comes to mind.
RESULT: Porter lasted a bit longer than I expected but he was eventually cut in favor of Seahawks recently waived corner, Ron Parker. Parker was later waived to make room for kicker Dave Rayner when Sebastian Janikowski went out with a hamstring injury. Then Parker was signed again by Seattle before the Raiders could get him back on the team. Now the team is in the market for another corner. Chekwa has been injured much of this season and the team signed former Bengal Chinedum Ndukwe to fill the void at safety.
Sterling will be Silver this season
I also predict that rookie undrafted free agent Sterling Moore will be placed on the practice squad and be called up to the active roster some time this season.
RESULT: Sterling Moore was indeed signed to the Raiders practice squad, but later he was released and signed by the Patriots. So he did get called up to the big leagues by midseason, but he was wearing a different silver helmet. He was released after one game with the Patriots and re-signed to the Patriots practice squad.
Linebacker skeleton crew will gain midshipman
The Raiders will sign a middle linebacker within the next few days. No need to trade for one as he will be depth only. They will scan the waiver wires in the next day or so and sign a player. One player who seems like a candidate is former Raider Ricky Brown who was cut by the Patriots. It just makes too much sense not to happen. Or maybe it makes so much sense that it won't happen? Hard to say with the Raiders. With the new arrival, second generation Legend player Bruce Davis Jr will become legend once again.
RESULT: Ricky Brown was signed by the Raiders. He is wearing his old #57. They released Seth Wand to make room. Bruce Davis Jr was released a few weeks later to make room for linebacker Aaron Curry whom the Raiders acquired via trade with the Seahawks.
Rookies who will make the practice squad
As I mentioned on Twitter after the cuts were revealed, I see the new rookies on the practice squad being "Sterling [Moore]... DE Mason Brodine, WR Eddie McGee, DT Jamie Cumbie, and [eventually] TE Richard Gordon."
RESULT: I nailed this one initially. Moore, Brodine, McGee, and Cumbie were all named to the squad. All of them remain on the squad except Moore. They were joined by Jeremy Leman and second year practice squad members Manase Tonga, Alex Parsons, and Kevin Brock. Gordon remains on the active roster and Tonga has since been called up to the active roster when both Gordon and Marcel Reece were injured.
I make a lot of predictions but I rarely post an actual bold predictions article such as this. I find it interesting to check back on them down the road a piece just to see how I did.
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