The Raiders signed free agent linebacker Darryl Blackstock. Blackstock is a self-proclaimed “RAIDER FAN 4 LIFE.”
Blackstock is 28 and previously played for the Bengals and Cardinals. He spent the 2010 season with the Florida Tuskers of the UFL and Raiders defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan.
Blackstock was drafted in 2005 at the end of the third round by the Arizona Cardinals.
Blackstock instantly becomes a fan favorite, partially because he is a Raiders fan and partially because his name is Blackstock. He’ll have a tough time making the roster, but the fans will love him along the way.
Follow him on Twitter: @MrDBlackstock
According to a tweet by J.I. Halsell, Michael Huff received a contract worth $8 million per season over four years.
Update: Jerry McDonald reports more detail: $12 milion is in the form of guarantees. $7.315 million signing bonus, $685,000 base salary in 2011, $4 million base salary 2012-2014. The 2012 base salary is guaranteed.
Eric Weddle received five years, $40 million with $19 million in guarantees.
It’s not completely out of line with expectations, but the slow market for Huff’s services insinuated his deal would be more affordable. Not the case.
Huff will now have to prove 2010 was not a fluke and he really is an all-pro safety.
The Raiders announced the signings of offensive lineman Stephon Heyer, Justin Smiley and Seth Wand.
Justin Smiley was in for a visit and Stephon Heyer announced on his Facebook he signed with the team this morning. Wand last played in the UFL.
The Raiders seems content adding lower level talent in hopes of fielding a decent offensive line. Not a great approach.
Proven options like Brian Waters and Sean Locklear remain free agents.
ESPN’s John Clayton reports Zach Miller has agreed to terms with the Seattle Seahawks. Adam Schefter confirms the contract is for five years and $34 million with $17 million in guarantees.
That’s nearly $7 million per season of which about 3.4 million will be guaranteed. Al Davis simply couldn’t match the Seahawks offer.
Davis rolled the dice letting a tight end hit free agency and he lost, but as Alex Miglio of Dolphinsblog.com explains, Miller is not as valuable as he seems.
So don’t panic. Kevin Boss has already shown interest in the Raiders and the Raiders can mitigate the loss in a variety of ways. The receivers growth is a big part, they can also use Richard Gordon as a blocking tight end and David Ausberry or Brandon Myers as receiving options. A piece together Zach Miller approach.
It’s a huge blow to the offense, but the development of Marcel Reece and addition of Taiwan Jones may mitigate some of the offensive loss as well.
It’s a business and the Raiders never made Miller a priority in free agency. He felt wanted in Seattle and got more than the Raiders were willing or able to spend.
According to reports, the Raiders have signed offensive tackle Stephon Heyer.
Heyer has started 33 games with the Redskins and played in 49. He was originally an undrafted free agent.
The Raiders recognize their need on the offensive line, but thus far haven’t added any big names.
Bryant McKinnie was cut and the Raiders could kick his tires. Sean Locklear and Brian Waters remain the best available players.
Kamerion Wimbley’s cap figure is now more manageable. He agrees on a five-year, $48 million deal which includes $29 million in guarantees.
The signing was brought about somewhat urgently by Zach Miller’s visit to Seattle and former coach Tom Cable.
With Wimbley signed, the Raiders should have enough flexibly to sway Miller and bring in an offensive lineman.
If Miller chooses to sign in Seattle, the Raiders could bring in Kevin Boss.
If the Raiders are serious about fixing the offensive line, they should return the favor and sign Sean Locklear.
Another option would be longtime divisional foe Brian Waters.
Lofa Tatupu is in for a visit. He’s a good player with injury problems. It’s difficult to figure out how he would fit in the Raiders 4-3 defense and may foreshadow the Raiders usage of the 3-4 more this season.
Tatupu, like Gaither, will need to check out medically. He also has a planned visit to Washington, which wouldn’t mean much if the Raiders wanted to extend an offer.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Michael Huff agreed to terms with the Raiders.
Was Tyvon Branch not a fit at free safety or was it Michael Mitchell not ready to be the starter on the strong side?
The Raiders 2010 secondary remains intact less Nnamdi Asomugha. The Raiders went 1-1 without Asomugha in 2010.
The secondary should continue to be strong in 2011 with the additions of rookies Demarcus Van Dyke and Chimdi Chekwa at cornerback.
Huff’s versatility is perhaps his best trait as he can also help out at cornerback when needed.
Next up, Zach Miller, but he must wait for Kamerion Wimbley to sign his long-term extension.