NAPA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders parting ways with running back Taiwan Jones, as reported Thursday by ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, not only saves the team $1.15 million in salary-cap space, it marked the end of an era.
Jones, taken in the fourth round of the 2011 draft out of Eastern Washington, was the last remaining position player on the Raiders' roster selected by the late Al Davis. Only kicker Sebastian Janikowski, the team’s first-round pick in 2000, remains as a Davis progeny.
In parting ways with Jones, who would have had a hard time cracking the team’s initial 53-man roster with the addition of Marshawn Lynch and the drafting of Elijah Hood to join returners DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard, the Raiders are cutting loose perhaps their fastest player (he has run a 4.33-second 40-yard dash) and best remaining special-teams gunner.
Jones, who turned 29 on Wednesday, also made a switch to cornerback in his Raiders tenure before coming back to the offensive side of the ball. He played in 66 games over his six-season Raiders career, rushing for 183 yards on 44 carries. He also caught 17 passes for 240 yards and had a 59-yard catch-and-run touchdown against the New York Jets in 2015.
He also had 75 kickoff returns for 1,751 yards.
The Raiders have 89 players on their 90-man offseason roster now, though first-round draft pick Gareon Conley remains unsigned.
Before signing second-round pick Obi Melifonwu to his rookie contract on Wednesday, Oakland had $10,477,978 in salary-cap space, per ESPN Stats & Information. Melifonwu was selected 56th overall and last year’s No. 56 pick had a cap number of $768,103.
The Raiders have been in pre-minicamp mode for rookies since Monday with the first official practice on Saturday.