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By JOSH DUBOW, AP Sports Writer

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP)—The Oakland Raiders’ decision to waive DeAngelo Hall just eight games after signing him to a $70 million contract brought surprised reactions from his teammates who now wonder even more about the future of the franchise.

“I’ve never been in a situation where you cut one of the best players,” said safety Gibril Wilson, another of the team’s offseason acquisitions. “That’s strange to me. It’s almost like we’re throwing in the towel.”

The Raiders waived Hall on Wednesday, bringing a disappointing end to a short tenure in Oakland. The Raiders sent a second-round draft pick in 2008 and a fifth-rounder next season to Atlanta in March to acquire Hall, who immediately was given a seven-year contract.

Hall was supposed to form one of the top cornerback duos in the league with Nnamdi Asomugha, but struggled from the start of the season as he adjusted to the Raiders’ man-to-man defense.

Hall had shown signs of improvement in recent weeks, but was let go anyway following a 24-0 loss to the Falcons that dropped Oakland to 2-6 on the season.

“I’m obviously disappointed,” Asomugha said. “I don’t agree with what happened. I don’t agree with what’s going on. But I am just a player so I can’t speak on it. I don’t make the decisions. All I can do is play but I don’t agree with what happened at all.”

The move to cut Hall follows other changes made by coach Tom Cable since taking over from Lane Kiffin on an interim basis after four games. Michael Huff, the No. 7 overall pick in 2006, lost his starting safety job and is now a third-stringer. Ronald Curry, the team’s leading receiver the past two years, has been relegated to special teams play.

Asomugha said the recent moves have led to some players being tentative on the field, afraid that they could be next to lose their starting job or spot on the team.

“There’s been some things that have been going on, some shakeups, that I haven’t agreed with,” Asomugha said. “Like I said, I’m not allowed to speak on it because we’re just supposed to shut up and play. But you ask me if I agree with it? I don’t agree with it.”

Just a week ago, interim coach Cable said that Hall was back to resembling the player he was in Atlanta, when he made it to two Pro Bowls. But in his last game, he was beaten for a 37-yard touchdown pass to Michael Jenkins on the opening drive of a 24-0 loss to his former Falcons team.

After a meeting with Cable, owner Al Davis and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan on Tuesday, the decision was made to get rid of Hall.

“When you look at the consistency and the play and those sorts of things, it was just the decision we felt was right for this football team,” Cable said. “We did not want to stay where we’re at. Felt like that was very important that we don’t do that, that we move forward and that was the decision that was made.”

Chris Johnson, who had mostly been the fourth cornerback this season, has moved ahead of Stanford Routt and will start on Sunday against Carolina. Routt will remain the nickel cornerback.

Cable said he hopes the move sends the message that no one’s job is safe, but he went out of his way to say that receiver Javon Walker won’t be the next high-priced acquisition to go. Walker, who signed a $55 million contract in the offseason, has only 13 catches at the midpoint of the season.

“Javon has really brought his game to a whole new level the last few weeks, whether it’s on the practice field or in the games,” Cable said. “Javon Walker is in no way not going to be a part of this football team. I don’t know about all the money stuff, or high priced, or this or that. I just know what I’m trying to do to make this team better.”

With most teams choosing to avoid throwing Asomugha on the other side of the field, Hall became a frequent target of opposing offenses, starting with a poor performance against Denver in the opening week.

In his eight games in Oakland, Hall was beaten 40 times for 552 yards on 66 passes thrown his way, according to data compiled by STATS LLC. He gave up more yards than any defender this season and was tied for third worst in catches allowed.

“When you’re losing there’s a lot of finger pointing,” Asomugha said. “I don’t think he’s the one scapegoat. There’s fingers pointed everywhere. I don’t think it’s just him. He was kind of singled out in regards of let’s cut someone.”

Hall said earlier this season it took him time to get used to Oakland’s man-to-man style of defense after being able to freelance frequently while playing zone with the Falcons. He had 17 interceptions in his four seasons in Atlanta, making the Pro Bowl in 2005 and ‘06. He had three interceptions this year, but frequently got beaten on big plays.

Hall got about $8 million of his contract for playing in eight games. But by releasing him now, the Raiders can use some of the money they planned to give Hall to try to keep Asomugha.

Oakland placed the franchise tag on Asomugha this year and would like to sign him to a long-term deal in the offseason. Asomugha would not comment on questions about whether this latest move would reduce his desire to want to return to Oakland.

In other moves, the Raiders placed safety Tyvon Branch (shoulder) and linebacker Robert Thomas (hamstring) on injured reserve with season-ending injuries. The Raiders signed defensive tackle William Joseph and defensive back Michael Waddell, who were both released in training camp. Linebacker Marquis Cooper was also signed.