The Las Vegas Raiders will set their initial 53-man roster by Tuesday afternoon — and they may start chopping down from 80 players on Monday.
As with every team every year, there are bound to be some surprises. The Raiders have a number of veterans who could potentially be on the roster bubble in the next several hours.
Let’s take a look at who might be on the chopping block.
It wouldn’t be a big surprise if the defensive tackle is sent packing. He was signed as a free agent after being a fringe player in Tennessee. The Raiders were intrigued because he is a scheme fit for Gus Bradley’s defense, but he hasn’t done much this summer.
You know what defensive tackle I’m intrigued about? Gerald McCoy. Honestly, as of alst week, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is cut this week or if he starts 12-plus games in 2021. He’s been quiet since signing earlier this month, but I could also see the Raiders saving the vet for the season. However, McCoy played a lot Sunday and he played well, so he is probably safe and could have a big role.
It might be a numbers game for the 2019 fourth-round pick, who just started practicing last week. Injuries have sullied his entire Raiders’ career and the roster might be too deep for Johnson to stick around. Perhaps he lands on the injured reserve again to stay with the organization. It didn’t help, of course, that he didn’t play well Sunday.
I’d be really surprised if Joseph doesn’t make the team after coming back in free agency, even though there has been some speculation he could be on the bubble. While he has been injured and others have taken reps, still, I think Joseph is one of the best four safeties on this roster.
Like Johnson may experience, Lawson could find too many people in front of him at cornerback. With rookie Nate Hobbs starring at nickel, the Raiders may feel like Lawson, who will be suspended by the NFL for the first two games, expendable. However, Las Vegas could always wait to make a decision on Lawson after his suspension is over. Like Johnson, Lawson didn’t play well Sunday, so he may be in trouble.
This one has seemed to be in the works for a while. Richard has been hurt, and undrafted rookies Trey Ragas and B.J. Emmons have been good in the preseason. That combination could put Richard on the chopping block. He could go on the injured reserve, but he is a free agent after the season. So it may make more sense for the Raiders to simply waive him with an injured designation if they have doubts that he could help them early on the season.