ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders released third-round pick Quentin Moses, veteran fullback Zack Crockett and free-agent safety Donovin Darius on Saturday as they reduced their roster to 53 players.
Moses, the first pick of the third round, was competing for the starting right defensive end spot until late in the preseason. Tommy Kelly won the job when he moved from tackle after the Raiders acquired Gerard Warren from Denver and fifth-rounder Jay Richardson beat Moses out for the backup role. By keeping Warren on the roster, the Raiders must give Denver a fifth-round pick in next year's draft.
Moses, Darius and offensive lineman Kevin Boothe were the biggest surprises among the 20 players cut by coach Lane Kiffin.
Darius, a former first-round pick by Jacksonville, was signed as a free agent last month and was expected to make the team as the third safety. B.J. Ward beat Darius out for the spot.
Boothe, a sixth-round pick in 2006, started 14 games as a rookie but did not fit into the team's new zone-blocking scheme and was cut.
Crockett, who has spent the past eight seasons in Oakland, was expendable after losing the starting job to Justin Griffith. Rookie Oren O'Neal will be the backup fullback. Crockett had been used mostly as a blocker and in short-yardage situations, running for 35 touchdowns with the Raiders.
Oakland also released fifth-round safety Eric Frampton and placed fourth-rounder Michael Bush on the physically unable to perform list. With seventh-rounder Johntahan Holland already on injured reserve and No. 1 pick JaMarcus Russell holding out, that means five of Oakland's 11 draft picks will not be on the opening day roster.
Receiver Alvis Whitted, who started 15 games last year without catching a touchdown pass, was also let go.
The other players cut were: tight ends James Adkisson and O.J. Santiago; offensive linemen Jesse Boone, Chad Slaughter and Mark Wilson; linebackers Kurt Campbell and Kyle Shotwell; receivers Carlos Francis and Chris McFoy; defensive linemen Anttaj Hawthorne, Josh Shaw and Dave Tollefson; defensive back Marquice Cole; and kicker Tyler Fredrickson.
Running back Dominic Rhodes is suspended for the first four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy and does not count against the 53-man roster.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press