The Raiders parted ways, over the last year, with 26 players who were on the active roster on Week 17 of the 2011 season. And they're just getting started.
Seventeen Oakland players are unrestricted free agents, and most of those will not be back. And there are experienced players under contract with the team who are confident they will be gone, as well.
Coach Dennis Allen, who just completed a 4-12 rookie season, said he and general manager Reggie McKenzie have met several times the past few weeks essentially crossing names out, writing them back in pencil, and crossing some more out.
"We've identified those guys that we're trying to get back and we're in the process," Allen said. "How long that process takes, at the end of the day Reggie will handle that part of it. But we've met a lot (discussing) where we're going as an organization and what we're looking to do. We've got a clear plan of what we're trying to get done."
Of the 17 free agents (see list), you can pretty much kiss punter Shane Lechler and defensive tackle Richard Seymour goodbye. Lechler made $3.8 million last year and McKenzie kept rookie Marquette King around on injured reserve for a not-raining-money day.
Seymour missed eight games with a hamstring injury, and probably will sign with a contender for less than the $7.5 million he made last season.
Among those players McKenzie and Allen would like back are linebacker Philip Wheeler and defensive end Andre Carter. Tight end Brandon Myers and defensive tackle Desmond Bryant both had good seasons and also likely would be welcomed back at the right price.
Heading up the list of players under contract who will not be back are middle linebacker Rolando McClain. He was suspended for two games for a series of transgressions and will be released when it makes salary-cap sense to do so.
The Raiders are very close to the projected 2013 salary cap figure of $121 million, and defensive tackle Tommy Kelly ($6.5 million salary) and receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey ($7.72 million) could be released to make room. Kelly, who was double-teamed at times with Seymour out, had only 1.5 sacks. Heyward-Bey finished with 41 catches and 606 yards - down from 64 and 975.
McKenzie made clear that the team needs more leaders, and Allen said that was part of putting a list together.
"I know we have some guys that are going to be the core of what we want and the type of players we want," Allen said. "I also know we've got some work to do to get more of those types of players."
Quarterback Carson Palmer appears to be one of those core players because of his $13 million salary next year and the salary-cap implications if they cut him and the lack of a clear alternative.
Raiders free agents
Players eligible for unrestricted free agency: T Khalif Barnes, DT Desmond Bryant, G Cooper Carlisle, DE Andre Carter, LB Omar Gaither, S Matt Giordano, RB Mike Goodson, WR Derek Hagan, CB Joselio Hanson, P Shane Lechler, QB Matt Leinart, S Mike Mitchell, TE Brandon Myers, DT Richard Seymour, DE Matt Shaughnessy, CB Shawntae Spencer, LB Philip Wheeler
Players eligible for restricted free agency: CB Phillip Adams
Exclusive-rights free agents: LB Kaelin Burnett, WR Duke Calhoun, CB Coye Francies, T Zach Hurd, C/G Alex Parsons, CB Brandian Ross, RB Jeremy Stewart