Oakland Raiders' head coach Tom Cable has begun the most difficult job any coach faces—telling players they are not going to be on the team anymore.
I've been in a similar situation as a high school coach, but not with the same ramifications. The players I cut were not trying to feed their family with a job in football, and they were merely relegated to the junior varsity. They still had a chance to play and compete.
The stakes are much higher in this case, and I do not envy Cable one, little bit.
Several Raiders have already been cut. Fullback Chane Moline, wide receiver Paul Hubbard, offensive guard Allen Smith, and tight ends Tony Stewart and Eric Butler were all released earlier this week. However, this will not be the end of roster cuts.
There will be more. Many more—21 more to be precise.
Following the most recent cuts, there are currently 74 players listed on the Raiders' official website. The league requires that every team have only 53 players on the active roster when the regular season starts.
Some of the released players will be picked up by other teams, some will be signed to the eight man practice squad, and some will be out of work altogether.
Let's begin with some preliminaries...