Just one day after losing three key members of the defense (Philip Wheeler, Desmond Bryant, Michael Huff), the Raiders began plugging some holes. Per the team’s website, they signed Jason Hunter, Kaluka Maiava, and Pat Sims to contracts. All three are defensive veterans.
Hunter is a defensive end who last played for the Broncos, but missed 2012 with a triceps injury. However, surprise surprise, before he played in Denver, Hunter was in Green Bay with General Manager Big Reg.
Kaluka Maiava is a veteran linebacker who last played for the Cleveland Browns. Given the lack of depth at linebacker, Maiava should have a good shot at at starting role with the Silver and Black in 2013. However, even if he and Miles Burris are penciled in as potential starters, there’s still a third linebacker spot that needs to be filled on the starting line, either through free agency or the draft.
Pat Sims last played as a defensive tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals. He is, to date, the highest profile signing by the Raiders. Sims has a lot of upside, but has a history of injuries. Like Maiava, if he stays healthy, Sims could very possibly start in 2013.
There are still plenty of starting slots left on Oakland’s roster, and that could be what attracts middle-of-the-road players. Even if the Raiders aren’t predicted to do very much this year, starting positions in the NFL are few and far between. Some players may hope to come in, prove themselves as starters, then make a bigger contract on the next go around. It sure worked for Philip Wheeler.
Oakland also reportedly resigned cornerback Coye Francies. Last year, when the Raiders signed Francies, I dismissed him, believing he’d be cut in a matter of days. Since then, he has remained on the team, and is only one of two Raiders free agents that have been re-signed so far (the other being Phillip Adams). Good for Francies. He primarily handled kick returns for Oakland last year, though had few notable returns. With a healthy Jacoby Ford ready to return in 2013, it will be interesting to see if Ford will handle kicks again, or shift his focus solely to receiving.
Check out More Raider News at East Coast Raider
This has been read 0 times