Raiders keep 4 QBs, 2 punters
The Oakland Raiders kept four quarterbacks and two punters on their 53-man roster Saturday with rookies Tyler Wilson and Matt McGloin both making the team as backup passers and the team putting off its decision on picking a punter.
One of the most watched competitions in training camp was between punters Chris Kluwe and Marquette King and the Raiders are not ready to settle on one of them yet. There is still time to make additional moves before the season opens Sept. 8 in Indianapolis.
King averaged 53.6 yards per punt with a 45.3 yard net average one of seven punts ending inside the 20 and two touchbacks in four exhibition games and has the bigger leg of the two.
Kluwe averaged 46.6 yards per punt with a 37.4 net average with one of seven punts ending inside the 20 and no touchbacks but is more consistent and a more reliable holder.
Among the players who were cut were two players who were supposed to bolster the pass rush. Veteran Andre Carter was let go despite being the only proven pass rusher on the team with 78 1/2 career sacks. But at 34 years old, he no longer had his old burst and was deemed expendable.
Oakland also cut seventh-round pick David Bass, keeping undrafted rookie Ryan Robinson out of Oklahoma State instead. Robinson produced seven quarterback pressures on 50 pass rushes in the preseason, according to Pro Football Focus, compared to four pressures on 57 rushes for Bass.
The Raiders weren’t ready to let go of another draft pick in Wilson, who fell behind the undrafted McGloin to fourth string this summer.
There was some thought in the spring that Wilson could compete with Matt Flynn and Terrelle Pryor for the starting job after being drafted in the fourth round out of Arkansas.
But Wilson struggled in training camp and did not even get to play in the middle two preseason games. Wilson was 11 for 18 for 93 yards and a 74.5 passer rating in the two games he played.
McGloin, an undrafted player out of Penn State, was 20 for 35 for 279 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions for a 66.2 passer rating in the preseason.
Guard Tony Bergstrom was placed on season-ending injured reserve with a foot injury. Bergstrom was the first player picked by second-year general manager Reggie McKenzie when he was taken in the third round of the 2012 draft.
The only other former draft pick let go Saturday was tight end Richard Gordon, a sixth-round pick by 2011 by the previous regime led by former owner Al Davis. Gordon was beaten out by Jeron Mastrud for a roster spot.
This will likely not be the 53-man roster the Raiders take into the season opener Sept. 8 at Indianapolis. McKenzie figures to closely watch the waiver wire and could pick up a player or two who didn’t make another roster.
Also, Oakland will likely have an additional roster spot to fill on Tuesday when it can place starting left tackle Jared Veldheer (torn left triceps) on injured reserve with a designation to return.
That would require Veldheer to sit for at least six weeks and then get two weeks of practice before he would be able to return to the active roster. The earliest Veldheer could be activated from that list would be in time for the team’s eighth game on Nov. 3 against Philadelphia.
Receiver Andre Holmes is suspended for the first four games for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances. He will not count on the 53-man roster until he is eligible to return Sept. 30.
NOTES: LB Omar Gaither, DBs Joselio Hanson and Reggie Smith and T Tony Hills were released. … T Willie Smith was waived-injured. … DL Ryan Baker, LB Billy Boyko, CB Chance Casey, G Jason Foster, WR Greg Jenkins, S Shelton Johnson, TE Brian Leonhardt, G Lamar Mady, K Justin Medlock, DT Kurt Taufa’asau, LB Chase Thomas, WR Conner Vernon and RB Deonte Williams were all waived.