Raiders cuts make room for McClain, Sanford
After slimming their roster down to 53 players, the Oakland Raiders ushered in some new faces Sunday.
Offensive Guard Antoine McClain and defensive end Brian Sanford were claimed off waivers Sunday morning, deepening both lines which have displayed sub-standard play.
Saturday’s roster moves forced a few Raiders on to new homes, most notably fourth-round draft pick quarterback Tyler Wilson and defensive end David Bass.
The cut made Wilson the highest-drafted player to be cut in their rookie season, while Chicago claimed Bass from waivers.
McClain, who played for the Super Bowl champion Ravens in 2012, will be entering his second year. Scouts have considered him best fit for a power blocking scheme, which the Raiders will be using this season.
McClain may be used at left guard after Tony Bergstrom was placed on injured reserve yesterday evening.
Sanford went undrafted in 2010 and was previously a part of the Cleveland Browns practice squad until being activated last October.
Cleveland tried to trade Sanford to Seattle less than two weeks ago, but the trade was rescinded due to a failed physical from Seahawks offensive lineman John Moffit.
Punter Chris Kluwe has been released, which he announced by sending a tweet to his followers:
Thanks to everyone at the Raiders for the opportunity this preseason. It was a blast. @MarquetteKing's got a bright future with you guys!
— Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft) September 1, 2013
The Raiders will be able to open a roster spot on Tuesday, which is when they will first be able to place injured left tackle Jared Velheer on the injured reserve, designated for return list. Every team can place one player on this list each season. Veldheer suffered a partially torn triceps and is expected to return in November.
Oakland’s offensive line, which was third best in expected points added and allowed the third fewest quarterback hits (52) in 2012, has been derailed by injuries during training camp.
The brightest spot on the unit remains to be seen, but third-round pick Menelik Watson showed serious promise while the team played Seattle during the final week of preseason.
Watson will be filling in for Veldheer on the left side, while veteran tackle Khalif Barnes anchors the right. Following the 22-6 loss at Seattle, head coach Dennis Allen said:
“I thought overall (Watson) did a pretty nice job. For the first time out, in this environment, against a good football team, I think he did a pretty nice job. I didn’t see guys running around him and I didn’t see him making a lot of mental errors.”
The Raiders will open the regular season against the Indianapolis Colts, who tied for 9th in sacks and finished 27th in points allowed during the 2012 season.