The Raiders have replaced one rookie kicker with another, waiving Matt McCrane and signing Daniel Carlson, sources told the Bay Area News Group.
The Minnesota Vikings drafted Carlson in the fifth round in April, but waived him on Sept. 17 after he missed three field goals in a 29-29 tie against the Packers the day prior. Carlson hit all three of his extra points and only field goal in Week 1 against the 49ers, but missed one field goal in regulation and two in overtime against Green Bay. Despite hitting all three extra points, the Vikings parted ways and signed veteran Dan Bailey instead.
Carlson was one of two kickers drafted this year, along with former New Mexico kicker Jason Sanders (Miami Dolphins in the seventh round).
The Raiders waived rookie Matt McCrane in their corresponding move after McCrane went 5-for-9 in three games with the Raiders. McCrane, who went undrafted out of Kansas State, hit 3-of-5 field goals in a Week 4 overtime win over the Browns, including the game-winning 29-yarder. He then hit 1-of-2 tries against both the Chargers and Seahawks, but Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said he wanted more touchbacks from McCrane following the team’s 27-3 loss in London.
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McCrane had only three of 12 kickoffs go for touchbacks in three games with the Raiders, and Carlson had nine of 10 kickoffs go for touchbacks in two games with the Vikings.
The Raiders signed Eddy Piñeiro as an undrafted rookie out of Florida to compete with incumbent Giorgio Tavecchio. Early in training camp, the Raiders waived the left-footer Tavecchio in favor of veteran Mike Nugent because Nugent is a right-footer who would make the operation easier for rookie holder Johnny Townsend by having to hold for two righties instead of one of each foot.
Piñeiro went on injured reserve with a groin injury before the initial 53-man roster came out, so he wasn’t eligible to play this season. Nugent (hip) also hit injured reserve after kicking for the Raiders in Weeks 1-3, making 4-of-5 extra points and all six field goals. The Raiders used McCrane for three games, and he hit all five extra points with those four field goal misses.
All that for a franchise who had Sebastian Janikowski for 18 season, the last of which saw the veteran lefty sit on injured reserve while Tavecchio hit 16-of-21 kicks in 2017. Tavecchio, by the way, hit all three of his field goals from 40, 50 and 56 yards in his Atlanta Falcons debut in a Monday night win over the New York Giants. The Raiders brought him in for a workout before their Week 4 game against the Browns, according to reports, but opted for McCrane instead.
Now it’s Carlson’s turn as the Raiders’ kicking wheel continues to turn.
Notes – The Raiders waived safety Obi Melifonwu from injured reserve, officially marking the end of his Raiders tenure. Melifonwu was picked in the second round of the 2017 NFL draft.
▪ Wide receiver Marcell Ateman and offensive lineman Denver Kirkland were promoted to the active roster in place of Amari Cooper (trade) and Marshawn Lynch (IR).
▪ The Raiders signed running back James Butler to the practice squad. He spent the preseason with the team after signing on after rookie mini-camp.