2013 Raiders season preview: Roster gains and losses

Allen pleased overall with Pryor's progression

2013 Raiders season preview: Roster gains and losses
September 4, 2013, 6:15 pm
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Charles Woodson is back with the Raiders after spending 1998 to 2005 with Oakland, while Darrius Heyward-Bey is now with the Colts after spending the first four seasons of his career with the Raiders. (AP)

Now that the 2013 53-man roster is set, let's took a look at how the Raiders are different than they were a season ago.

Gains
-- FS Charles Woodson (free agent, Packers): Full-time starter at free safety will be a leader on defense.
-- CB Mike Jenkins (free agent, Cowboys): Former Pro Bowler is trying to earn a long-term deal next season.
-- NT Pat Sims (free agent, Bengals): Run-stopping specialist expected to plug gaps on the interior line.
-- DT Vance Walker (free agent, Atlanta): An every-down player provides stout run defense and decent pass-rushing.
-- WLB Kevin Burnett (free agent, Dolphins): Starter at weakside linebacker who excels in pass coverage.
-- OLB Kaluka Maiava (free agent, Browns): Primary backup at both outside linebacker spots.
-- DE Jason Hunter (free agent, Broncos): He’s solid against the run, but will be asked to rush the passer too.
-- QB Matt Flynn (acquired in trade, Seahawks): Will either start or be the No. 2 signal caller.

[RELATED: Raiders won't declare Pryor starting QB]

-- TE Jeron Mastrud (free agent, Dolphins): Blocking tight end will play significant snaps.
-- CB Tracy Porter (free agent, Broncos): Starting corner will move to the slot in nickel package.
-- RB Rashad Jennings (free agent, Jaguars): Physical runner will be Darren McFadden’s backup.
-- S Usama Young (free agent, Browns): Has played both safety spots, but primary role will be backing up Woodson at free safety.
-- CB D.J. Hayden (draft, first round): Will enter in nickel package as an outside corner, should push for a bigger role as season goes on.
-- OL Menelik Watson (draft, second round): Expected to start at left tackle until Jared Veldheer returns from injury.

[NEWS: Watson tweaks knee, can't finish Raiders practice]

-- OLB Sio Moore (draft, third round): Starter at strongside outside linebacker due to diverse talents against the run and pass.
-- DT Stacy McGee (draft, sixth round): Back-of-the rotation depth on the interior line.
-- TE Mychal Rivera (draft, sixth round): Immediate contributor as a pass catcher.
-- TE Nick Kasa (draft, sixth round): Developmental project that could end up on the practice squad in time.
-- WR Brice Butler (draft, seventh round): Will see snaps outside and in the slot.
-- WR Andre Holmes (waiver claim, Patriots): On reserve-suspended list while out four games for violating NFL policy on PEDs.
-- QB Matt McGloin (undrafted free agent): Penn State alum is the emergency quarterback and will run scout team.
-- G/C Andre Gurode (free agent, Bears): Five-time Pro Bowler’s on the back end of career offers support at center and guard.
-- DE Ryan Robinson (undrafted free agent): Pass-rushing specialist might not be active every week.
 
Losses
-- QB Carson Palmer (trade, Cardinals): Wouldn’t take a pay cut, so the Raiders got something back for him.
-- OLB Phillip Wheeler (free agent, Dolphins): Couldn’t afford to keep a player Raiders wanted to retain.
-- MLB Rolando McClain (cut, retired): Troubled, too-slow player signed with the Ravens before leaving NFL football.
-- DT Richard Seymour (free agent): Veteran refused to play for reduced rate, was not re-signed by the Raiders or any other team.
-- FS Michael Huff (cut, Ravens): Became a cap casualty. The Raiders deemed him expendable.
-- WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (free agent, Colts): The tem’s leading receiver in 2012 wasn’t worth what the Colts paid him.
-- Matt Shaugnessey (free agent, Cardinals): Developping pass rusher was allowed to sign with another team.
-- P Shane Lechler (free agent, Texans): The team couldn’t afford to pay the popular player what Houston did.
-- DT Tommy Kelly (cut, Patriots): Salary was too high to keep the aging veteran, who wasn’t a fan of coach Dennis Allen.
-- G Cooper Carlisle (free agent, unsigned): The Raiders went younger at the guard spot.
-- RB Mike Goodson (free agent, Jets): The Raiders went with Jennings, a more physical rusher who fits the team’s new blocking scheme.
-- WR Derek Hagan (free agent, unsigned): TheRaiders wanted to upgrade at this position.
-- CB Ron Bartell (free agent, unsigned): The Baiders upgraded here. Bartell signed with the Lions, but was cut in the preseason.
--DE Dave Tollefson (free agent, unsigned): The Raiders went in another direction, choosing Jason Hunter to start opposite Lamarr Houston.
-- CB Shawnte Spencer (free agent, unsigned): The Raiders choose veteran Mike Jenkins over Spencer.
-- DE Desmond Bryant (free agent, Browns): Cleveland paid him for more than the Raiders could afford, or thought he was worth.
-- S Matt Giordano (free agent, Rams): The Raiders signed Usama Young instead.