There are always a few players that teams cut who instantly stun a lot of people. Many of those players are talented enough or fit another team’s need so well, that they are scooped up quickly or claimed off waivers. But not all of them.
Some players still slip through and either remain unsigned or join a team’s practice squad.
Either way, what many refer to as the “final 53-man roster” is anything but final. A better term is “initial 53” because more moves inevitably occur afterward.
Sometimes those moves are a team seeing a player or players become available that they like better than those they kept initially. Other moves include injured players who the team expects to have back in short order, but in order to be added to the IR Designated for Return list, those players must be on the roster after the initial cuts are made.
Now that the dust has settled from the cuts, signings, and claims, I have compiled a list of those players still out there who the Raiders should consider adding this week as they prepare for the season opener.
Landing on the Eagles’ practice squad should not sway the Raiders from looking to sign Phillips. He has started 18 games at both tackle and guard over the past three seasons for the Ravens and Giants. That versatility makes him valuable OL depth. And he has to be a better option than tackle Justin Herron who the team kept for lack of better options on the team.
Willis was a bit of a surprise cut considering how well he was performing this camp and preseason. He would be the fifth DE on the team, but most people will tell you, you can’t have enough pass rushers.
The Raiders currently don’t have a blocking tight end. That’s what McKeon does. He pass blocks, can line up at fullback, and play special teams. Hence why the Cowboys were sure to bring him back on their practice squad. Currently the number three tight end is Jesper Horsted, who is better suited as a next-man-up on the practice squad should either Michael Mayer or Austin Hooper be lost to injury.
Being a former round two pick by the Patriots would figure to have him squarely on the Raiders radar. He was a surprise cut by the Vikings and was re-signed to their practice squad. Should Brandon Facyson’s injury have him missing some time, Williams could be a smart addition to replace his spot on the roster.
While run support is not his forte, he is great in coverage and could be a good better option than rookie sixth round pick Amari Burney until Burney develops.
Another solid blocking tight end. Gentry is a massive 6-8, 265. While he is most known for his blocking abilities, the former 5th round pick has also caught 38 passes over the past two seasons in Pittsburgh.
The Chargers moved Bailey around the line this camp and preseason, having him play at both tackle spots as well as right guard. He received praise particularly for his run blocking skills. As is always the case with reserve offensive linemen, versatility is at a premium. The Chargers brought him back onto the practice squad so, signing him would also be taking him from a division rival.