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Van Dyke release signals complete overhaul at cornerback for Raiders

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Oakland Raiders cornerbacks Stanford Routt and Demarcus Van Dyke prepare for a game at Oakland coliseum (photo by Levi Damien)
Oakland Raiders cornerbacks Stanford Routt and Demarcus Van Dyke prepare for a game at Oakland coliseum (photo by Levi Damien)

Well, that's it. With the release of DeMarcus Van Dyke, there isn't a single cornerback remaining on the Raiders active roster from last season. That speaks volumes of the players they had last season as well as the system now put in place. The Raiders were focused on man defenders and speed, the new scheme asks for zone defenders an skill.

Here is what last season's cornerbacks looked like compared to what they look like now:

2011- Stanford Routt, Chris Johnson, Lito Sheppard, Demarcus Van Dyke, Chimdi Chekwa, Bryan McCann

2012- Ron Bartell, Shawntae Spencer, Pat Lee, Joselio Hanson, Coye Francies, Phillip Adams

Stanford Routt and Chris Johnson were the first to go. Both had "out of whack" contracts and were cut to save money (for the most part). The team quickly signed Bartell, Spencer, and Lee to bulk up the unit.

Van Dyke and Chekwa were both drafted in 2011 in subsequent rounds three and four. This preseason both were severely underperforming. As I said had mentioned numerous times during the preseason, neither of them were locks to make this team and the odds were very high at least one would be gone, with Chekwa being the most likely to go.

Van Dyke was playing well in practice but looked terrible in games. Chekwa simply looked bad all around. Chekwa was cut in the final roster trimming. No teams stepped up to claim him and since, due to injury, he was only active for four games last season, he was eligible for the practice squad and has since been signed to the practice squad. Van Dyke is not eligible for the practice squad so it's hard to say what will happen with him.

McCann's best shot to make the Raiders as a return man. He initially tweeted that he had made the Raiders' roster but then the team claimed a couple players on waivers and McCann was bumped off the roster. His return duties could be taken by the guy who replaced him, Phillip Adams.

The Raiders now not only have an entirely new group of corners but they have six of them. This is a lot of corners typically but considering one or two of them could be returning kicks or punts, it makes some sense.

We've said it time and time again, it's a new day in Oakland. No more scholarships and no more speed picks. It's now officially a clean slate at the cornerback position.