Among the more surprising cuts on Saturday was safety Stevie Brown. It was thought that the team was high on Brown and had even considered him a starter had Huff signed elsewhere this offseason. But in the end, Brown was cut and by the next day, the Panthers swiped him up. Now, oddly enough, the team has re-signed another safety to the roster.
The Raiders have re-signed Matt Giordano who was signed during camp. The team released running back Michael Bennett to make room on the roster. Bennett's release was expected as the team had five running backs on the roster.
Giordano is a six-year journeyman who was originally drafted by the Colts in the fourth round of the 2005 draft. He was part of the Colts' Super Bowl team in 2006—his best as far as tackle numbers (20). In 2007 he had 2 interceptions on four starts—both career bests. He spent four seasons in Indianapolis, starting just six games before leaving as a free agent. He has spent the last two seasons with the Packers and Saints appearing in 14 games with no starts.
Giordano was considered a long shot to make this team and his cut was of little surprise. The surprise came when the team re-signed him today. There is little doubt in my mind that the re-signed player would have been Stevie Brown if he had still been available.
Brown was cut and re-signed last season as well. He was drafted out of Michigan with the Raiders' seventh round compensatory pick in 2010. He impressed all through the 2010 preseason with his playmaking abilities and nose for the ball. Many thought that he would be on the roster last season but he was part of the final cuts.
This season it was the same story. Only this time, he wasn't such a secret. He became the hottest commodity the Raiders had waived and his availability was not lost on the Panthers.
The question becomes: why did they keep Bennett, who was the fifth running back, and cut these two safeties if their intention all along was to re-sign them? No doubt it has to do with guaranteed money. This is a risky game they play. In the end it cost the Raiders a good player.
No offense to Giordano, but Brown was the guy the Raiders had hoped would clear waivers. Giordano is the consolation prize. He is primarily a special teams player.
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Brown didnt have an expensive contract, Bennett did. They should have cut Bennett from the get go. That's what doesnt make sense. They knew they had to either pay Bennet 1.6 million or let him go. Why did they waste 2 days with that decision and lose Stevie Brown who was only on a 7th round rookie contract? Seems like a bad move after the fact but we dont know their reason.
Maybe they were undecided whether Chekwa should be a free safety or cornerback. Maybe they want him to be a safety but dont feel he's had enough experience at that position to play him against the Broncos. Maybe they expected Brown would clear waivers. Maybe they really wanted to keep Bennett because Jones is so small, but in the end just couldnt justify roster spots for both him and Cartwright. Maybe they didnt see much of a difference between Brown and Giordano and were going after Meriweather or someone else.
Whatever the reason for the indecision it cost us Stevie Brown. Not much of a loss but frustrating the way it happened.
@JeriousNorwood Davis certainly has a whole lot of respect for veterans who do their job and show a team first mentality which Bennett did. Its a good thing that Davis shows that respect. There is nothing wrong with Bennett, he's a solid backup RB. Just cant justify keeping Cartwright, Bennett, 7 WRs, and 4 TEs when you got depth issues on the defense. With Bennett's hefty salary about to become guaranteed, they needed to make a decision one way or the other right away. Most of the other guys they can decide later on at a lower cost.
Forgot to add that maybe Mike Mitchell had a setback in his recovery. That might be worse than loseing Brown.