The fourth-game bubble


A list in descending order of those under contract who are most likely to leave the roster as the Raiders cut to the 53-man limit Saturday:

1, tie) RB Michael Bush and RB Dominic Rhodes. Bush will either be on the regular season Physically Unable to Perform list, meaning he could return some time near midseason, or on injured reserve. Rhodes will return to the roster for the fifth game of the season after serving a suspension.

3) PK-P Tyler Fredrickson. A camp leg for Shane Lechler and Sebastian Janikowski. Only sticks if one of them gets hurt against Seahawks _ and even if that happens the waiver wire will be given a hard look.

4) LB Kurt Campbell. Second-year product out of Albany was strictly a camp body but picked up valuable experience.

5) DE Dave Tollefson. Rob Ryan likes how hard he plays, but draft picks Quentin Moses and Jay Richardson make it a tough go for him to make it.

6) C Jesse Boone. Eventful camp for free agent who tried out in front of car headlights and tangled with Warren Sapp. But he’s not a long-snapper and has Jake Grove and Jeremy Newberry ahead of him.

7) WR Chris McFoy. Needed to truly jump off the film and on practice field to have a chance.

8 TE James Adkisson. Like John Madsen, a converted wide receiver, but Madsen does everything better.

9) WR Carlos Francis. A great story in itself that he stayed healthy all the way through camp, but didn’t do enough to break into top five or six.

10) LB Kyle Shotwell. Too many fast linebackers on the roster to keep one who survives on heart and moxie.

11) TE O.J. Santiago. Brought in when injuries hit during camp, unlikely to ascend to No. 3 spot behind Zach Miller and Madsen.

12) DT Josh Shaw. Played well during minicamps but spent much of training camp injured.

13) S Eric Frampton. Known as a play-maker at Washington State, Frampton’s around-the-ball reputation did not materialize in Napa or in preseason games.

14) CB Marquice Cole. Has the best chance of any undrafted free agent to stick to roster, but is a better candidate for release and practice squad.

15) OT Mark Wilson. Unlikely to stay? Yes, but you never know in zone blocking system which linemen will flourish.

16) G Chris Morris. Was first on the field to replace Robert Gallery when Gallery was hurt for a few plays against St. Louis, but unlikely to be kept over Kevin Boothe and Paul McQuistan.

17) OT Chad Slaughter. Missed most of training camp with calf injury, but has NFL experience on both left and right sides.

18) WR Alvis Whitted. Has some special teams value, but could be end of the line for a classy veteran with limited receiving skills.

19) CB Duane Starks. Has veteran presence at a thin position but has been hampered by hamstring problems.

20) S Hiram Eugene. Preseason touchdown was an eye-opener, Raiders appear to have four safeties locked in _ Michael Huff, Stuart Schweigert, Donovin Darius and B.J. Ward. Rarely do they carry five.

21) CB John Bowie. Was hurt early and hasn’t jumped out at anyone, but could stick because he’s a fourth-round draft pick and was the compensation for Randy Moss.

22) FB Zack Crockett. Do the Raiders keep a 34-year-old fullback ahead of a rookie prospect?

23) LB Ricky Brown. Solid special teams player who has also fared well as a middle linebacker, but there simply may not be room.

24) FB Oren O’Neal. Is his upside enough to dislodge a popular veteran presence such as Crockett?

25) RB Justin Fargas. Not many teams cut their leading rusher, but Fargas’ running style may not be suited to zone blocking. Could net a late-round draft pick from a team that needs a running back.

26) WR Mike Williams. Hard to read Lane Kiffin on this one. Is he the guy Kiffin built up when Williams arrived, or the one Kiffin has been critical of ever since?

27) RB Adimchobe Echemandu. Productive since the first Kiffin minicamp and leading the NFL in preseason rushing. But he was still playing with the third team in the third preseason game.

28) WR Travis Taylor. Had more drops than you’d like to see out of a veteran wideout, but also has more career receptions than Jerry Porter.

29) DT Tyler Brayton. Coaching staff appears to think his quickness can be an asset inside.

30) DE Chris Clemons. Got plenty of playing time early, even working with the first team nickel, but production and snaps have slowed since.

31) CB Chris Johnson. Forced fumble against the Rams, experience and makeup speed give him a good chance to stick.

32) DT Anttaj Hawthorne. Seemed relatively safe until Raiders traded for Denver tackle Gerard Warren.

33) TE Tony Stewart. Seems secure as No. 3 tight end, but back trouble is always a concern.

34) DT Gerard Warren. If the Raiders don’t like what they see, no sense giving Broncos a fifth-round draft pick.

35) LB Isaiah Ekejiuba. May never be a viable NFL linebacker, but his size and speed combo as a wedge-buster brings to mind Travian Smith.

36) QB Andrew Walter. If JaMarcus Russell’s agents get antsy with the season about to start and are willing to make a deal, Walter could become trade bait.

37) QB Josh McCown. Same scenario above if Daunte Culpepper wins starting quarterback job.

38) QB Daunte Culpepper. McCown wins the job, Russell signs and Culpepper agrees to take his $750,000 guarantee and go home.

39) LS Jon Condo. Only if a long-snapper the Raiders have had their eyes on suddenly becomes avaialble.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer