Raiders to cut ties with James Jones, Miles Burris
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) The Oakland Raiders are planning to release two starters from last year's team, cutting ties with receiver James Jones and linebacker Miles Burris.
Jones told CSN California that general manager Reggie McKenzie told him he was going to be cut and Burris announced on his Twitter account Monday that he was going to be released as well.
The moves came after the Raiders selected potential replacements in last week's draft. Oakland used its first-round pick on receiver Amari Cooper and then drafted linebackers Ben Heeney of Kansas and Neiron Bell of Florida in the fifth round.
Fox Sports also reported that the Raiders will release backup offensive lineman Kevin Boothe.
Jones is the latest of the high-profile additions the Raiders made last year to leave after just one season as part of an overhaul for new coach Jack Del Rio.
Oakland already cut quarterback Matt Schaub, running back Maurice Jones-Drew and defensive linemen Antonio Smith and LaMarr Woodley. Cornerbacks Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers are free agents and the Raiders have shown little interest in signing either one.
Jones was one of the more productive of those veterans with a team-high 73 catches last season for 666 yards and six touchdowns. But Jones' 9.1 yards per catch was the second lowest of any wide receiver last season and the Raiders decided to go in a different direction.
Oakland signed former San Francisco wideout Michael Crabtree as a free agent last month and also will be getting Rod Streater back from a broken foot that sidelined him for the final 13 games last season. With Andre Holmes also on board, there was little use for a 31-year-old receiver with limited special teams value such as Jones.
Burris was the second draft pick made by general manager Reggie McKenzie in his initial 2012 draft. He was picked in the fourth round out of San Diego State that year and started 15 games as a rookie. A knee injury limited him to just six games as a reserve in 2013 and Burris struggled mightily when forced to take over as starting middle linebacker last season following a season-ending concussion in an exhibition game for starter Nick Roach.
Burris was second on the team with 1,060 defensive snaps and was second with 108 tackles. But he was the lowest-rated inside linebacker by Pro Football Focus last season and became expendable after Oakland added Curtis Lofton in free agency and then drafted two more linebackers.
Burris' departure leaves Tony Bergstrom as the only remaining member of McKenzie's first draft. Bergstrom, the team's top pick that year at No. 95 overall in the third round, has not been active for a game since his rookie year.
After making one start and playing sparingly in 2012, Bergstrom missed the entire 2013 season with a foot injury and was inactive for all 16 games last season despite being healthy.
Oakland had already cut the other four members of that draft class: fifth-round defensive end Jack Crawford and receiver Juron Criner, sixth-round defensive tackle Christo Bilukidi and seventh-round linebacker Nate Stupar.
Boothe played just 45 plays last season in his second stint with Oakland.
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