Raiders coach Jon Gruden promised to make some changes following three straight blowout losses.
He wasn’t bluffing.
The Raiders waived three players Tuesday, parting ways with safety D.J. Swearninger, linebacker Preston Brown and defensive tackle Terrell McClain as part of a series of roster moves.
Swearinger's the biggest name in the group. The veteran was the primary strong safety, working extensively in the base package and obvious running downs. He had 20 tackles and a pass defensed in four games' work. Brown was here a few weeks but played his first Raiders game Sunday, working 14 snaps. McClain was a rotational interior defensive lineman who had been a Raider since Week 6.
All three were in-season signings working on contracts that weren't guaranteed and, ultimately, didn't work out.
Tight end Foster Moreau was also placed on injured reserve with a knee injury that will require surgery.
The team also signed running back Rod Smith for positional depth, a possible sign that Josh Jacobs might not be ready to return with a shoulder injury. Time will tell on that front.
The Raiders roster currently sits at 50, meaning there’s another flurry coming soon if the team plans to reach the 53-man maximum. Practice-squad promotions could be coming next, considering a new signing would take time to get up to speed. Players previously lower on the depth chart could get a shot as Gruden tries to shake things up heading down the stretch.
He was clearly frustrated by three straight games of terrible play, where the Raiders were outscored 116-33. The Tennessee Titans beat them 42-21 at home, with the defense giving up one long drive after another and 552 yards total offense.
“We’ve got to play better, and we’re going to play better, and there will be changes,” Gruden said during his Monday press conference. “There will be changes. What happened yesterday will not happen again. I can’t allow it to happen.”
Cornerback Dylan Mabin also was placed on the practice-squad injured reserve list.