Raiders add three to defensive roster through free agency

The Raiders have made their first splash in the free agency period, as the Raiders announced they have signed former Browns linebacker Kaluka Maiava to a three-year, $6 million deal according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter during the second day of free agency.

Maiava spent his first four years in the league with the Cleveland Browns, playing in 50 games and accumulating 133 tackles, 4.5 sacks and five forced fumbles.

The 26-year-old linebacker gives the Raiders some versatility as he was drafted to play inside linebacker under former Raiders defensive coordinator Rob Ryan’s 3-4 defense, but then was moved to outside linebacker in the Browns’ 4-3 scheme. Linebacker became a priority with Philip Wheeler heading to Miami and Rolando McClain expected to be released.

Just minutes after it was reported Maiava had signed, reports surfaced that Reggie McKenzie and the Raiders signed former Bengals defensive tackle Pat Sims. Sims represents a big run-stuffing defensive tackle that can fill up running holes when he is on the field. Key phrase there is “when he is on the field”. Sims has suffered injury problems and has played in just 60 games in his five-year career, accumulating 5.0 sacks and 83 tackles.

The Raiders offer Sims a perfect opportunity to help get his career back on track, as he has reportedly signed a one-year deal and can prove his worth just as Wheeler did last season.

With veteran Richard Seymour and Desmond Bryant leaving for free agency, the defensive tackle spot was also left bare for McKenzie to fill.

The Raiders also announced the signing of defensive end Jason Hunter, who last played for the Denver Broncos in 2011 after spending 2012 on the injured reserve with a triceps injury. Hunter, who is entering his eighth year out of Appalachian State, has recorded 11 sacks, six passes defensed and three forced fumbles over 88 games, including 23 starts.

“We’re excited to add three veterans through free agency,” McKenzie said, “helping to create depth and competition on defense. We’ll continue to add free agents as the opportunity surfaces.”

The Raiders also announced they have re-signed cornerback/return man Coye Francies to a one-year deal. The Raiders also signed CB Phillip Adams to the same deal on Tuesday.


Author: Chris McClain

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