RAIDERS MAKE CUTS

The Raiders got down to their 53-man limit by cutting a host of veteran players, including linebacker Ryan Phillips, quarterback Rodney Peete, tight end Andrew Glover and kick returner Eric Metcalf.

The Raiders also released offensive linemen Toby Miles, Aaron Graham and Tony Hutson, wide receiver Andy McCullough, running back Derek Combs and safety Raymond Perryman.

A day earlier Oakland cut running back Jabari Jackson, wide receiver Broderick McGrew, offensive lineman Josh Tucker, linebacker James Burgess, defensive linemen Jon Harris and Emil Ekiyor, and defensive backs Mark Tate and Corey Walker.

The decision to release Phillips, a starter last season for the NFC Champion New York Giants, came as somewhat of a surprise. A starter for the Giants the past two seasons, Phillips played all three linebacking positions in the preseason but could not find a home.

It didn't help Phillips' cause that Oakland's other three backup linebackers - Eric Barton, Bobby Brooks and Travian Smith - are all key members of the special teams unit. Still, cutting Phillips was a move the Raiders' coaching staff wrestled with. Phillips was one of the last players notified that he was released. He took part in the team's practice Sunday before being told afterward that he was let go.

''That's an indication that it was one of the very last decisions that we made,'' said Raiders head coach Jon Gruden. ''That was a tough call. Special teams was a big part of this decision. Whether that's right or wrong, we'll have to prove it.''

NOTES - Running back Terry Kirby (groin) and defensive linemen Roderick Coleman (pectoral muscle strain) were both held out of practice Sunday and are listed as questionable to play in the season-opener at Kansas City. Coleman's injury is the most significant, as he is slated to replace Darrell Russell in Oakland's starting lineup. Russell was suspended for the first four games of the regular season by the NFL after violating the league's substance abuse policy

… Long-snapper Adam Treu returned to practice after missing Friday's preseason finale due while his wife gave birth to their first child, a baby girl

… Wide receiver Marcus Knight will wear No. 85 during the regular season. Knight previously wore No. 7. Safety Derrick Gibson is also changing his number, going from 43 to 26, the number formally owned by running back Napoleon Kauman.


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