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Oakland Raiders Trim Roster To 53 Players


With training camp, and now the preseason behind them, the Oakland Raiders have officially reduced their roster to 53 players.

After the team cut down the roster to 75 players heading into Thursday's preseason finale against the Seattle Seahawks, the Silver and Black abided by league mandate, and made several rosters moves to reduce the roster to 53 prior to Saturday's 1:00 p.m. PT deadline.

The team waived 20 players, waived/injured linebacker Neiron Ball and linebacker/defensive end James Cowser, traded safety Dewey McDonald to the Seattle Seahawks, and moved fullback Marcel Reece to the Reserve/Suspended list to reduce the active roster to 53 players.

Of the 20 players the team parted ways with, there were a few surprising departures, perhaps most notably cornerback Neiko Thorpe.

Thorpe joined the Silver and Black prior to the start of the 2014 season, and in his two seasons with the Raiders, the rangy cornerback appeared in 28 games, making two starts, with one interception, and seven passes defensed.

While the team did part ways with 20 players, one player who held on to make the final roster was undrafted free agent running back Jalen Richard.

The Southern Mississippi-product put together an impressive few months in Northern California, making the most of his tryout at Rookie Minicamp, and then building off that positive momentum throughout Training Camp 2016. Richard suffered a minor knee injury that caused him to miss the first two games of the preseason, but the dynamic running back showed the coaching staff enough over the final two weeks of the preseason to earn himself a spot on the 53-man roster.

Richard wasn't the only undrafted free agent to make the roster, as wide receiver Johnny Holton, cornerback Antonio Hamilton, and defensive tackle Darius Latham also made the final roster.

Heading into the preseason finale against the Seattle Seahawks, it appeared as though Holton and fellow undrafted free agent K.J. Brent were set to battle it out to be the fifth wide receiver on the roster.

While Brent did put together a quality outing against the Seahawks, the Raiders elected to roll with Holton, the undrafted man from the University of Cincinnati.

Defensively, Latham has been an impressive player since training camp, and he put a bow on his 2016 preseason Thursday night, finishing the game with five tackles, one tackle for loss, as well as one pass defensed. Hamilton also came on strong in the latter stages of the preseason to earn a spot with the Silver and Black.

In addition to the roster reductions, General Manager also executed a trade Saturday, sending safety Dewey McDonald to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for a conditional draft pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.

While the Raiders have now cut down to 53 players, the roster will remain fluid over the next few days, as the front office and coaching staff put together the 10-man Practice Squad.

With the roster in place, Derek Carr and Co. will hit the field Wednesday to officially begin their on-field preparation for the Week 1 matchup with the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The team travels to New Orleans Friday, and kickoff Sunday is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. PT.

With the moves, here is how the initial roster breaks down:

Offensive line (9)

Quarterbacks (3)

Running backs (5)

Tight ends (3)

Wide receivers (5)

Defensive line (8)

Linebackers (6)

Secondary (11)

Specialists (3)

The 20 players the Raiders waived Saturday are as follows:

Running back George Atkinson III

Guard Mitch Bell

Wide receiver K.J. Brent

Cornerback Kenneth Durden

Wide receiver Marvin Hall

Defensive lineman Drew Iddings

Defensive lineman Branden Jackson

Guard Denver Kirkland

Defensive tackle Derrick Lott

Linebacker John Lotulelei

Tight end Jake McGee

Wide receiver Jaydon Mickens

Tight end Ryan O'Malley

Guard Oni Omoile

Cornerback Neiko Thorpe

Linebacker Korey Toomer

Defensive end Greg Townsend Jr.

Linebacker Kyrie Wilson

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