Raiders roster cut tracker: Jalen Richard makes cut, Dewey McDonald traded, Neiko Thorpe cut

Running back Jalen Richard reportedly will open the year on the Raiders 53-man roster. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Running back Jalen Richard reportedly will open the year on the Raiders 53-man roster. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The Raiders must trim their roster to 53 by Saturday’s 1 p.m. deadline, although it’s important to note that’s the deadline to get their list of cuts to the NFL, not the media or public.

Reports may leak out throughout the day until the Raiders announce their official cuts and we’ll track those here:

In news that was expected, a pair of reports indicate that rookie undrafted running back Jalen Richard has made the roster. A reporter from KALB in Louisiana and Southwestern Mississippi cited members of Richard’s family that said the Southern Miss product had made the squad. ESPN also confirmed Richard was sticking around.

Richard had 10 carries for 45 yard and three catches for 14 yards in two exhibition games. He missed the first two with a knee injury. More than that, he was incredibly impressive in practice and a player the Raiders have liked since signing after bringing him in on a tryout basis in May.

The first news of the day came from the NFL Network’s Ian Rapaport, who revealed the Raiders are waiving undrafted linebacker James Cowser.

This comes as a slight surprise considering the fact that he was immediately one of the team’s top-four listed pass rushers and got off to a good start with the team. But after listening to coach Jack Del Rio on Thursday night, I had a feeling Cowser wouldn’t make the initial 53 man roster.

“I thought he started out really fast and then he was kind of, maybe, I don’t know, not quite in the forefront of things,” Del Rio said, “but I thought he showed up really well tonight. He made a couple nice plays on special teams. He showed up a little bit on defense. He’s got awareness. He’s an intelligent football player, so I think he definitely put his best foot forward tonight.”

So call it an inconsistent performance during training camp that ultimately cost Cowser, even if he finished strong by forcing that safety against the Seahawks. If the Raiders do indeed place Mario Edwards Jr. on IR with plans to return him, I’d imagine Cowser is a candidate to take his roster spot. Remember, Edwards must first make the 53-man roster, then he can be placed on IR and another can then be player signed. If they don’t do that, Cowser is a strong bet to go to the practice squad if he’s not signed to another team’s 53-man.

Wide receiver Johnny Holton is one undrafted player who seems to be in position to make the team, per ESPN’s Adam Caplan. This has been pretty expected, although fellow undrafted receiver K.J. Brent has made a nice push lately. Brent would be considered a strong practice squad candidate if he’s indeed cut and the Raiders go with Holton.

Caplan noted that Holton was nearly cut in May, but he’s improved greatly and quarterback Derek Carr said he told Holton when training camp began that he was “the most improved player this whole offseason.”

Defensive tackle Darius Latham is another UDFA the Raiders are expected to keep, per Caplan. That’s been pretty expected for a couple weeks now as Latham continues to have dominant preseason outings for the Raiders. Having talked to him a couple times, he’s felt good about his chances for a couple weeks now.

According to the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson, the Raiders traded reserve safety Dewey McDonald to the Seattle Seahawks. McDonald was great early in training camp and entered the first exhibition game as a second-team safety, but he was disastrous in that game and Keith McGill surpassed him. The compensation isn’t known yet, but something in the realm of a late-round draft pick is likely.

McDonald acknowledged in a tweet that he’s moving on:

McDonald played one game for the Raiders last year, the season finale in Kansas City. He also played one game each for the Patriots and Colts and 12 games in 2004 for Indianapolis.

According to a tweet from his agent, the Raiders have cut cornerback Neiko Thorpe. That shouldn’t come as a surprise as he was largely not projected to make the roster even despite receiving a second-round tender this offseason. That Raiders eventually got Thorpe to take a pay cut from that tender and it looks like Dexter McDonald will end up as the No. 5 cornerback.

Thorpe played in 28 games the past two years for the Raiders, starting two last season. He has one career interception, which came in a Week 2 win over Baltimore last season.


Jimmy Durkin

Sports writer for the Bay Area News Group, covering the Raiders.

  • 24

    I thought about it but it didn’t translate to gruesome. I figured it looked safe enough. Did you throw up?

  • R8der4evr

    Almost took Truex in the 2nd
    HAD to take Kurt Busch

  • SaintKaufman

    I tell, if Martin never had to pit he would win a lot of races! 😀


    Pre season ‘tenders’ —-> = 0.000000

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Usually misses though.

  • What about Schilenz?

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Mine are plus two.


    I remember one good tackle where even he had an interview where he said “I was lucky that I take a good angle” or something like this.


    We will be moving to LV

  • Chicken tenders?