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Raiders Sign Three Veteran Free Agent Defenders

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On day one of the 2013 NFL Free agency Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie did not make signing anyone a huge priority instead pilfered his team to get rid of unwarranted contracts. Released talented safety Michael Huff and wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, which raised some eyebrows in Oakland.

Day two arrived and what did the Oakland’s general manager have in store on Wednesday? A different kind of strategy.

The Raiders jumped into the free agent frenzy, without making a splash. During the day three veteran free agents got signed. Those are defensive end Jason Hunter, linebacker Kaluka Maiava and defensive tackle Pat Sims.

All three positions are of need specifically due to the departure of linebacker Phillip Wheeler who signed with the Miami Dolphins and defensive tackle Desmond Bryant, who’s now the Cleveland Browns problem.

Here’s a look at the three newest acquisitions.

DE Jason Hunter

Hunter was an undrafted free agent by the Green Bay Packers in 2006 and played one season with the Detroit Lions until being picked up by the Denver Broncos. 

Hunter will now be 30 entering the season and coming off a year out of the league due to a torn triceps, with zero upside. Expect Hunter to serve as a rotational pass rusher, a role that has yielded 11 sacks in 88 career games for him.

In the 2011 season he played in all 16 games, but notched only 21 tackles and one sack in a part-time role.

LB Kaluka Maiava

Talk about a player that may become a difference maker with the team is Maiava. The former  Cleveland Browns linebacker signed a three-year contract worth $6 million contract . In four seasons  in the NFL he has recorded 133 tackles, 5 forced fumbles and 4.5 sacks.

His second year in the league got cut short due to injury allowing him to play in just two games.

The Raiders are only beginning the strenuous task of remaking their devastating  front seven. A 13-game starter for the 2012 Browns, Maiava finished with 53 tackles, two sacks and two forced fumbles. He will get the role as one of the starting linebacker in 2013 for the Raiders.

DT Pat Sims

Formerly with the Cincinnati Bengals Sims has been in the league for five years, and is only 27 years old. Like the other two signees he has battled his share of injuries specifically during the last three seasons.

He has broken his forearm, undergone knee surgery, damaged ligaments in his ankle, and battled hamstring woes, forcing him to miss 15 games. A former third round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft out of Auburn he may make a big difference on the front line for the Raiders.

He is a one-dimensional player with a large frame tacking at 6-2, 335 but he’s an effective run stopper and can fill the desirable role on a defense that has struggled to stop the running game the past few seasons.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at [email protected]

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