Programming note: For complete coverage of the Raiders roster cuts, follow Insider Scott Bair's cut-day tracker and tune in to SportsNet Central tonight at 5:30 p.m., 10:30 and midnight on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
Raiders head coach Dennis Allen trims his roster to 53 men for the third time on Saturday, and he said this year’s experience will be the hardest. That’s because the Raiders have upgraded the roster in several positions, meaning he must cut a higher percentage of worthy players.
“There is no question, it’s been harder," Allen said. "I saw this coming back, really, in OTAs and specifically in training camp. I knew that there were going to be some tough decisions that had to be made. I know that there are going to be some guys that we’re going to end up not being able to keep that are going to end up on other peoples’ rosters. It’s a tough issue, but it’s a good problem to have. So, although those are tough decisions that you have to make, it certainly bodes well for your football team.”
That’s never a fun task, but 22 cuts must be made by Saturday at 1 p.m. Even with the league mandated deadline, the Raiders won’t release their list of cuts until roughly 4 p.m.
Individual cuts should trickle out beforehand, and we’ll update the cut list as the names come in.
-- Defensive end Jack Crawford announced he had been cut on Instagram on Friday night. It was doubly disappointing for the Englishman, who was looking forward to playing the Dolphins in his London hometown later this year.
Crawford was a fifth-round pick out in 2012, general manager Reggie McKenzie’s first draft class. While it didn’t have a first-or-second-round selection, the picks haven’t fared well. Only guard Tony Bergstrom (third round) and linebacker Miles Burris (fourth round) remain from that class. Receiver Juron Criner (fifth round) was cut last week.
-- Undrafted free agent tight end Jake Murphy announced he had been cut on Twitter. The son of baseball player Dale Murphy is a candidate for the practice squad.
-- Undrafted free agent fullback Karl Williams was released, according to his agent.
-- The Raiders will release defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin, according to Yahoo! Sports.
-- The Raiders have released veteran recover Greg Little, according to Pro Football Talk.
Little got off to a fast start, but his release was predictable after a series of lackluster performances in the preseason.
[RELATED: Raiders release WR Little]
-- Strong safety Brandian Ross has been released. He made 14 starts last season while starter Tyvon Branch was injured, but struggled in such a prominent role.
This virtually guarantees that the Raiders will keep the seventh round draft pick Jonathan Dowling. The rookie has struggled in the preseason, but the team believes he has tremendous upside.
MORE TO COME