Oakland Raiders Roster Cuts: Scholarship Sam Williams and Other Surprises

Well, the cut to 53 players was made today as we all know, and there were a few surprises but in all, things shook down mostly as expected.

It was a bit of a surprise that, given the struggles of the run game, Manase Tonga was not retained. He showed excellent ability to block, and in the game against the Seattle Seahawks had a really nice catch and run that showcased some athleticism that people perhaps didn't know he possessed. I know I didn't.

Keeping Marcel Reece after the big play ability he showed in the screen game made sense; I just don't know that he has the size or skill to clear holes for Darren McFadden as they'll be needed. The Raiders will be getting incumbent fullback Luke Lawton back after a two game suspension, but it remains to be seen if he'll be retained at that point as he won't count on the roster until he is active.

Based on his play on both special teams and at linebacker, and his propensity for injuries, I really thought this would be the year that Sam Williams would lose his scholarship and be given his walking papers.

Slade Norris shows better ability on special teams at this point, is younger, and has proven to be less injury-prone. It doesn't make sense to me why Williams keeps sticking around. Perhaps he's the illegitmate son of Al Davis; he's got to have something on ol' Al to keep avoiding the chopping block.

Jay Richardson was a surprise cut, but after the talent added to the front seven and Richardson failing to play due to injury this offseason, it became a distinct possibility. 

Still, that leaves only Lamarr Houston and Matt Shaughnessy as true defensive ends, with Trevor Scott, Kamerion Wimbley and Quentin Groves as hybrid defensive end/linebackers. Richardson's strength was on run defense, so it is a little baffling that he was let go considering the lack of depth and his usefulness as a run stopper.

I'm amazed that Yamon Figurs made it, wi...

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