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Raiders will be watching waiver wire closely on cutdown day

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Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Last season the Raiders were busy bees on the waiver wire in preseason. Several players who appeared momentarily safe after the first roster cutdown, soon found out they were not as the team added players who had been cut from rosters across the NFL.

Current players such as Phillip Adams, Willie Smith, Keenan Clayton, and Joselio Hanson were among those players added to the roster from other teams' after cutdown day.

Listening to Dennis Allen talk, indications are that the Raiders could be even more busy this preseason.

"I don't think there is any question that these next couple of weeks are make or break games for a lot of guys. Veterans and young players," said Allen. "There's still a lot of positions on this team where we haven't totally made up our mind exactly who those guys are going to be. Let's be honest. These guys aren't just competing against the 90 guys that are in this camp. They're competing against everybody that's on these rosters on the 31 other football teams in the National Football League. I think this is a critical time for all these guys."

The roster hopefuls will essentially have one quarter of action in this week's third preseason game against the Bears to earn the right to remain on the roster through the final preseason game. And even when the cuts are announced, those will certainly not lend much comfort to those players who weren't on the initial list as more players will be replaced in the days following.

Reggie McKenzie as well as other Raiders scouts have been seen at several games this preseason hoping to spot players with some value to the Raiders who were considered expendable elsewhere.

The Raiders are, of course, third in the waiver order with just Kansas City and Jacksonville with priority for waiver claims. The team already added rookie Chase Thomas off waivers from the Saints and with the need at other positions, the offensive line in particular, you can expect there will be many more to come.

The first cutdown day is August 27. Teams must be down to 75 players which means all at once, there will be 480 players to flood the market. Then come August 31 - just four days later, another 384 players will come available.

That's a lot of player to choose from, many of whom came from teams with a lot stronger competition ahead of them on their current rosters than what is on the Raiders roster right now. Therefore a much better chance there will be many players who would be an upgrade for the Raiders.