Wide receiver and return specialist Josh Cribbs has reportedly been cut by the Oakland Raiders.
Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle first reported the news on Sunday afternoon via Twitter:
Josh Cribbs has been released— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) August 25, 2013
Cribbs joined nine others who were released by Oakland on Sunday (via Scott Bair of Comcast Sportsnet).
Others #Raiders trimmed: Clayton, Harper, Halsey McGuffie, Nelms, Sessions, Robiskie, Wade and Williams— Scott Bair (@BairCSN) August 25, 2013
The Raiders are in the midst of trimming their roster down to a league-mandated 75 players by Tuesday, Aug. 27, and Cribbs is an unfortunate casualty of that process.
The former Cleveland Browns star underwent knee surgery in the offseason and clearly lost a step in the process—a death knell for a player that relies on speed more than anything else to make an impact in the return game.
This move wasn’t completely unexpected, as Oakland head coach Dennis Allen noted last week that Cribbs had yet to show the “burst and explosion” he was looking for in a returner, per CSN Bay Area's Scott Bair.
As per Brian McIntyre of Yahoo! Sports, the nine-year veteran’s $1.25 million contract was only partially guaranteed:
Raiders release WR Josh Cribbs. Got $225k of 1-yr, $1.25M contract. Was due $865k in base salary w/$160k in per game rost. bonuses in '13— Brian McIntyre (@brian_mcintyre) August 25, 2013
The Raiders lose hardly anything by cutting ties with the three-time Pro Bowler at this juncture and need to only pay a fraction of the cost.
It’s a shame that he wasn’t able to get back to full speed after the surgery, as Cribbs was one of the most dynamic return men in the game during his prime. He has scored 11 touchdowns on returns alone, including eight on kickoffs and three on punt returns.
Cribbs was also utilized as a part-time receiver and running back during his time in Cleveland. The dynamic playmaker recorded 107 receptions for 1,161 yards and seven scores, and added 128 rushes for 753 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
Jacoby Ford and Mike Jenkins, among others, are likely in line to take over Cribbs' duties as the return man, as per the team's depth chart.
Hopefully the 30-year-old veteran can continue his rehabilitation, regain his signature speed and catch on with another team before hanging up his cleats.