Michael Dyer

Raiders’ Roster Takes Shape

Despite surpassing Trent Richardson on the depth chart, Michael Dyer couldn’t complete his ascent into regular-season action with the Raiders.

Instead, Oakland rejiggered its depth chart by bringing Taiwan Jones, a former running back, back to his original spot from corner, where he played previously. Jones now occupies the third-string spot behind Latavius Murray and Roy Helu, as the Raiders announced the waiving of Dyer and others in order to dice their roster down to 53.

In addition to severing ties with Christian Ponder, Oakland released Kris Durham and defensive lineman C.J. Wilson.

Here are the rest of Oakland’s cut-day casualties:

  • George Atkinson III, RB
  • Mitch Bell, G
  • Spencer Hadley, LB
  • Shelby Harris, DE
  • Dan Kistler, T
  • Brian Leonhardt, TE
  • Ricky Lumpkin, DT
  • Tevin McDonald, CB
  • Anthony Morris, T (Waived/injured)
  • Leon Orr, DT
  • Brandian Ross, S (IR)
  • Josh Shirley, LB
  • Georgio Tavecchio, K
  • Max Valles, DE
  • Gary Wilkins, DE
  • Devon Wylie, WR

AFC Notes: Raiders, Pryor, Jets, Texans, Jags

The Raiders brought in running backs Trent Richardson and Roy Helu Jr. to backup Latavius Murray, but Josh Dubow of the Associated Press says it’s been undrafted free agent Michael Dyer who’s been making the biggest case to be the No. 2 back. The Auburn/Louisville product gained 45 yards on 12 carries in last week’s preseason game.

“I feel like I got my confidence up because I was able to get into a rhythm and up to game speed,” Dyer said. “Going from the first game to second game you try to build confidence and get the offense down. By the third game you should be able to have control of the game and play hard and fast.”

Meanwhile, despite the fact that he’s a former first-round pick, Richardson is no guarantee to make the team.

“He’s got to earn it,” coach Jack Del Rio said. “He’s got to be good enough as a backup. We’ve got to see some of the explosiveness that he had when he was a young man playing for the Crimson Tide there. He’s got to have a role on special teams and he’s got to be able to help us win on Sundays. That’s the challenge for him right now.”

Let’s check out some more notes from the AFC…

  • Terrelle Pryor‘s quest to switch from quarterback to wideout hasn’t necessarily gone as planned, as the former Ohio State standout has remained sidelined with a sore hamstring. However, Browns coach Mike Pettine told Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com that the injury doesn’t doom Pryor’s chance to make the team. “We know he’s a project. We understand that,” Pettine said. “We’re not expecting him to go out there and light it up and catch 10 balls for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Just continue to get better.”
  • Todd Bowles may have some tough decisions to make as he looks to trim his roster, but the Jets coach is confident in what he has. “I have a pretty good idea of what we have with the exception of about three or four guys,” Bowles told Brian Costello of the New York Post. “I have a good idea about everybody else. I understand what we can be, and I know what kind of work we have ahead of us, but I have a good idea of what we have.”
  • Bill O’Brien needs to cut the Texans roster from 90 players to 53 players in the next ten days, and the head coach is lamenting the inevitably tough decisions. “It’s a very difficult thing,” he told Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “As a head coach, it’s one of the hardest parts of your job because you’ve got guys here that have really, really worked extremely hard…You want a competitive roster. You want to have tough decisions, but it’s still not an easy thing to do with guys you really care about, you really enjoy being around.”
  • Offensive lineman Derek Newton‘s five-year, $26M contract signed with the Texans this past offseason may prove to be a bargain, writes Wilson. “Well, we got him back here for a reason,” said offensive coordinator George Godsey. “He’s been playing some tackle for us. We’ve put him in there at guard with some of the things that we’ve had situationally. We put him over at left tackle and haven’t heard one gripe from him.”
  • The Jaguars may not have either Andre Branch or Sen’Derrick Marks for their preseason opener, report Mike DiRocco of ESPN.com and Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union, respectively. Branch suffered a sprained MCL and will be out a “significant” amount of time, per Gus Bradley. The pass-rusher is entering his contract year and already saw a groin injury nullify much of his third campaign. The Jags’ sack leader with 8.5 last year, Marks is still recovering from the torn ACL he sustained in Week 17 of last season. Bradley described his top defensive tackle’s quest to suit up for Week 1 as an uphill battle.

Sam Robinson contributed to this report

Minor Moves: Monday

Here are Monday’s minor transactions from around the NFL, with the latest minor moves added to the top of the list throughout the day:

  • The Lions signed three tryout players – safety Nathan Lindsey and receivers Erik Lora and Jarred Haggins – and released wideout Desmond Lawrence, Tim Twentyman of the team’s website writes.
  • Washington has signed undrafted receiver Quinton Dunbar, formerly of Florida, tweets Tarik El-Bashir of CSNWashington.com.
  • The Dolphins signed one tight end – Tim Semisch, undrafted out of Northern Illinois – and released another in Ryan Taylor, writes Mike Wilkening of Pro Football Talk. Taylor, a Packers seventh-round pick in 2011, has eight career catches.
  • The Cardinals have signed three tryout players – a quarterback (Phillip Sims) and two safeties (Brandon Person and Harold Jones-Quartey) – per their official website. To make room, they released tackle Kelvin Palmer, wide receiver Travis Harvey, and cornerback Ross Weaver.
  • The Bears signed quarterback Pat Devlin, defensive tackle Terry Williams, and linebacker Kyle Woestmann, tweets Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune. They also waived linebacker Khaseem Greene and cut fellow LB Austen Lane.
  • The Buccaneers have cut safety Shelton Johnson, wide receivers Chandler Jones and Josh Reese, offensive lineman Matt Patchan, and linebacker Michael Reynolds (Twitter: Roy Cummings, Tampa Tribune).
  • The Packers will release defensive lineman Luther Robinson, according to Bill Huber of Packer Report. Robinson appeared in five games last year.
  • The Bills signed undrafted free agent safety Wes Miller, formerly of UTEP, according to Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News (Twitter link).
  • The Raiders signed ex-Auburn running back Michael Dyer, who tried out for them over the weekend, tweets Richard Davenport of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Twitter link). They also signed Emporia state wideout Austin Willis, the player told Rick Peterson Jr. of the Topeka Capital-Journal. Additionally, running back Terrance Cobb wrote on Instagram that the team released him.
  • The Vikings waived wide receiver Kain Colter and guard Jesse Somsel, writes Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune. Colter was on the Vikings’ practice squad last year, while they recently signed Somsel as an undrafted free agent.
  • The Giants released three players – running back Chris Ogbonnaya, linebacker James Davidson, and defensive back Thomas Gordon – according to ESPN’s Dan Graziano (Twitter link).
  • The Buccaneers signed linebacker Jared Koster, who tried out at their rookie minicamp, tweets Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune.
  • The Steelers signed tryout players Cameron Stingily (running back) and Mike Thornton (defensive line) to their 90-man roster, reports Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Twitter link). To make room, they cut punter Richie Leone, defensive tackle Nigel Crawford-Kinney, defensive end Brandon Prate, long snapper Brandon Hartson, wide receiver Brelan Chancellor, and guard Collin Rahrig (Twitter).
  • The Broncos waived guard Jon Halapio, whom they signed to their practice squad last December, tweets Mike Klis of 9News. Additionally, the team waived wide receiver Matt Miller after signing him as an undrafted free agent earlier this month (Twitter link via Troy Renck of the Denver Post).
  • The Buccaneers have signed three tryout players from rookie camp, tweets Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune. The team agreed to deals with wide receivers Donteea Dye and Adam Humphries and offensive tackle Edawn Coughman.
  • Offensive tackle Antonio Richardson, whom the Vikings waived last week, has retired because of knee issues, per Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. Richardson signed with the Vikings last year as an undrafted free agent from Tennessee and saw some action in the preseason.
  • The Panthers have cut defensive tackle Darious Cummings, reports ESPN’s Joe Person (via Twitter). Cummings signed with the Panthers last week as an undrafted free agent from Florida.
  • The Buccaneers will cut return man Solomon Patton today, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post. Patton, who went undrafted out of Florida last year, appeared in seven games for the Bucs as a rookie. He has had two stints with Tampa and one with the Cardinals during his short career.
  • Former Wisconsin offensive lineman Andy Phillips signed with the Packers, the player tweeted. Phillips earned a spot with the Pack after impressing team brass as a tryout player at rookie minicamp over the weekend.