Just one more chance for many Raiders hopefuls to show their worth to the team and earn a roster spot. Here are those players on the bubble to keep your eye on Thursday night in Seattle.
Connor Cook and EJ Manuel vs waiver wire
Neither Cook nor Manuel have shown much of anything that would make either of them worthy of a roster spot. At this point, they may not be battling each other so much as battling themselves to prove they are a better option than whatever comes available on cutdown day. Some team out there is going to have to make a tough decision. Whether the Raiders are one of them will depend on whether either of these two can show any progress in this offense.
Chris Warren III vs depth elsewhere
There is no question Chris Warren III has earned a spot on an NFL roster. But is it the Raiders? He is no longer battling anyone at his position. The Raiders don’t even have another back like him. What he is battling is the difficulty the team might have carrying five running backs when they have depth at other positions to think about. Some believe he should get a shot over, say, Doug Martin, but it’s pretty clear Martin is making this team, so the Raiders have a tough call to make. Keep him at the expense of another roster spot, or let him go and risk him being signed by another team.
Seth Roberts vs Johnny Holton
Roberts would leave over four million in dead money behind if he is cut. Making that a tough pill to swallow. He and Holton are very different players. Roberts is a dirty work, slot receiver and Holton is a deep threat and a gunner on special teams.
David Sharpe vs Ian Silberman
Sharpe is the former fourth round pick while Silberman has impressed the coaches this offseason. They have switched off at the right tackle spot. Both have also seen snaps inside, because they will need to prove they can be a versatile backup guard/tackle. Sharpe has drawn praise, but also received some backhanded compliments from Gruden about how every time they think he can take more on his plate, it turns out he can’t handle it. Neither has proven to be a fantastic option so far.
Jordan Simmons vs Denver Kirkland
Kirkland had the favor of the previous coaching staff. They liked him as a guard and even saw potential in him as a tackle. The current staff has kept him at guard. Simmons has shown up well as a guard and is making a strong push to be a utility interior reserve for the team.
Fadol Brown vs Tank Carradine
Fadol Brown has come on like gangbusters this preseason. The 2017 undrafted free agent spent the season on the practice squad where he thought someone was going to scoop him up. There is little question he will be claimed off waivers if the Raiders let him go. Carradine has shown up as well in the absence of Khalil Mack. This is looking like one of the tougher calls among these bubble battles. Both are well deserving of a roster spot, and it could be they both make it, but if that were to happen the team would be going 5-6 deep at the defensive end position.
Mario Edwards Jr vs Treyvon Hester
Edwards has been getting the starts at the 3-tech spot throughout the offseason and preseason. The problem is, he just hasn’t done anything to earn the right to keep it. He is set to factor nearly $2 million against the cap too, with just $659K in dead money if he’s cut. Hester has shown a lot more hustle, not to mention versatility as he can play either 3-tech DT or nose tackle, which is valuable.