Raiders release WR Jordy Nelson to save cap room

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Jordy Nelson (82) stands on the sideline near head coach Jon Gruden during the second half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/John Hefti)
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ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) -- After making several big-ticket additions to start free agency, the Oakland Raiders are now making some cuts.

The Raiders released 2018 leading wide receiver Jordy Nelson and backup quarterback AJ McCarron on Thursday to create salary cap space after going on a spending spree earlier this week.

The moves save more than $8.5 million for the upcoming season after the Raiders committed more than $50 million in salary cap space to acquire receiver Antonio Brown, tackle Trent Brown, safety Lamarcus Joyner and receiver Tyrell Williams.

Nelson, a former Riley County High School and Kansas State standout, signed a $14.2 million, two-year deal last March with the Raiders and had 63 catches for 739 yards in his one season in Oakland. The Raiders turned his $3.6 million roster bonus for 2019 into a signing bonus late last season, which leaves them with $1.8 million in dead money this year.

Coach Jon Gruden had planned to keep Nelson before plans changed when Brown became available from Pittsburgh last weekend.