The Raiders released three players Tuesday and, surprisingly, none of them were named Rolando McClain…or Tommy Kelly.
The middle linebacker and defensive tackle, long rumored to be on their respective ways out of Oakland, were saved from the initial purge on the opening day of the new NFL season. The same, though, could not be said for receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, defensive back Michael Huff and defensive end Dave Tollefson.
The three cuts saved the Raiders a combined $11.652 million against the salary cap. As such, the Raiders are now about $20 million under the cap of $123 million.
"The Raiders would like to thank Michael Huff and Darrius Heyward-Bey for their contributions to our organization, both on the field and especially in our community, over the last several years," the Raiders said in a statement. "We sincerely wish them well in their future endeavors."
Why the team waited until Tuesday to make the cuts is unknown when they could have made them well before the start of the league's new year. Speculation, then, would lead you to believe that the players, especially Heyward-Bey and Huff, were asked to take a pay cut…and did not. Again, mere speculation.
This much is true, though: Heyward-Bey was due to make $7.721 million in base salary this season, with a cap number of $10.601 million. His departure represents a savings of $5.341 million against the cap.
Huff, meanwhile, was due a base salary of $4 million and his cut represents a cap savings of just over $4.711 million.
The cut of Tollefson, who was due to make $900,000, is a $1.6 million savings against the cap.
Huff and Heyward-Bey were each selected with the seventh overall selection in the NFL Draft, Huff in 2006 and Heyward-Bey in 2009.
The team also announced they re-signed cornerback Phillip Adams.