Oakland Raiders: Most Surprising Moves On Cut Down Day

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Aug 22, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Michael Dyer (40) runs with the ball in the third quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. The Minnesota Vikings beat the Oakland Raiders 20-12. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Dyer Doesn’t Make The Squad

When Trent Richardson was brought in, the conventional thinking was that he was going to be the primary backup to Latavius Murray, who was positioning himself to be Oakland’s bell cow out of the backfield.

But then a funny thing happened. An undrafted free agent thanks to a string of troubles since he’d had a starring role at Auburn, Dyer burst onto the scene and started to make a name for himself over the summer. He had a rough game against the Rams in the exhibition opener, but he responded with a fantastic bounce back performance against the Vikings in game two.

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  • No running back on Oakland’s roster had a particularly good outing against the Cardinals in week three, but it seemed that they’d seen enough of Dyer that they jettisoned Richardson.

    Most assumed that Dyer had won the job and would be Murray’s primary backup. But Del Rio apparently had other plans, as Dyer was let go on Saturday as the team got down to the 53 man limit.

    Most are assuming that Dyer will end up on Oakland’s practice squad, and that’s a possibility. But there are still teams out there in the market for a solid running back, and Dyer showed real promise over the course of the exhibition season. He was decisive, strong in the hole, quick, and unlike Richardson, seemed to have terrific field vision.

    While he needs some seasoning, obviously, Dyer showed the form and flash that had made him such an effective and potent part of Auburn’s offense back when he helped lead that team to a BCS champion ship over Oregon.

    The move leaves Oakland with Taiwan Jones, Roy Helu, Marcel Reece, and Jamize Olawale as the ballcarriers behind Murray. And while each of those are terrific backs who will augment Oakland’s offense with their diverse skill sets, letting go of Dyer – who is more of a punishing back than who the Raiders have left – might be a move that comes back to bite Del Rio in the backside.

    Next: The Rookie Doesn't Do Enough