Raiders announce initial 53-man roster

The Oakland Raiders release 22 players at the 53-man roster deadline. WR Greg Little, S Brandian Ross, TE Jake Murphy and RB George Atkinson III among the notables released. CFL free agent Neiko Thorpe and the entire 2014 draft class make the initial roster.

The Oakland Raiders announced the release of 22 players, bringing their initial 53-man roster into view. Wide receiver Greg Little, tight end Jake Murphy, safety Brandian Ross, and running backs Jeremy Stewart and George Atkinson III are among the notable players released at today’s deadline.

Little, claimed through waivers back in May, was beaten out by second-year receiver Brice Butler, who emerged this preseason, catching four touchdowns in three games.

Ross, entering his third season, finds himself the odd man out at safety, with 2014 seventh-round pick Jonathan Dowling joining Usama Young as backups to Charles Woodson and Tyvon Branch.

Murphy, along with fellow tight end Scott Simonson, provided depth to a position hit hard by injuries this preseason. Nick Kasa is on the reserve/injured list after tearing his ACL during joint practices with the Dallas Cowboys and David Ausberry is expected to return soon from knee surgery, but the team could look to the waiver wire for additional depth.

Crawford was a member of general manager Reggie McKenzie’s first draft class in 2012. Another selection in that draft, receiver Juron Criner, was released last week.

Atkinson III, a long shot to make the team as undrafted free agent, is the son of Raiders legend George Atkinson Jr.

Sticking around in the secondary is Neiko Thorpe. Thorpe, a member of the 2011 BCS National Champion Auburn Tigers, was signed to a reserve/futures contract back in January after stints with the Kansas City Chiefs and Toronto Argonauts of the CFL.

The team’s entire 2014 draft class, eight selections total, are all currently on the roster.

Complete list of players released

RB George Atkinson III, DE Denico Autry, CB Chance Casey, T Jack Cornell, DE Jack Crawford, LB, Carlos Fields, LB Bojay Filimoeatu, LB Spencer Hdley, T Dan Kistler, T Erle Ladson, WR Greg Little, DT Ricky Lumpkin, G Lamar Mady, TE Jake Murphy, WR Seth Roberts, DE Ryan Robinson, S Brandian Ross, OL Jarrod Shaw, TE Scott Simonson, RB Jeremy Stewart, K Giorgio Travecchio, FB Karl Williams

Crawford took to social media on Friday to thank the organization, owner Mark Davis and fans.

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