The Oakland Raiders were not done making moves when they signed Kevin Boss Friday. In addition to Boss, the Raiders signed Michael Bush to a $2.6 million restricted free agent contract. Then they signed former New England Patriots second round pick, wide receiver Chad Jackson. And then…
Derek Hagan was added as another wide receiver in camp. That leads me to believe that the Raiders do not have much confidence in their wide receivers with the one exception being rookie Denarius Moore. Hagan is a former third round pick by the Miami Dolphins out of the same 2006 NFL draft as Chad Jackson. But he is also a California product from Palmdale where he earned all-conference honors in both his junior and senior high school seasons and most likely first caught the eye of the man upstairs.
After two and a half seasons in Miami, Hagan was released and spent two and a half seasons as a New York Giant. His 85 career receptions are more than any other receiver on the Raiders squad with Louis Murphy’s 75 coming in a close second place. Now, whether that means he automatically becomes the top wide receiver on the depth chart is up in the air. We do know that Louis Murphy is not currently in the top spot despite the fact that he used to be the team’s reception leader.
Just days after signing to come in and compete on the offensive line, guard Justin Smiley has announced his retirement according to Head Coach Hue Jackson. Smiley is an eight year pro who formerly played for the San Francisco 49ers and had brief stints with the Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars. He can now add Oakland Raiders to his list of brief stints. This retirement news means that the Raiders will most likely be his last stop in an average career.
Shawn Bayes was brought back into the mix today, signing a contract to be another preseason body, much like he was for the Raiders in 2009. The 5’10” 180 speedster from Kent State was released by the Raiders in their final cuts of the 2009 preseason. Almost immediately after joining the squad in April 2009, Bayes was competing for special teams play as a kick returner. Most likely with Jacoby Ford and Taiwan Jones out of the line-up, Bayes will be in camp for the same reason this year.
Fullback Bryson Kelly, a 6’1” 234 pound product of Central Washington, was added to the roster today also. He was a four year fullback for the Division II Wildcats from 2007 to 2010. Last season, he posted whopping numbers in a 246 yard four touchdown performance against Simon Fraser University. The yards and touchdowns were both records in the Great Northwest Conference. He joins the Raiders after going undrafted in the 2011 draft.
Perhaps the most astonishing move of the day for the Raiders was the move of center Stefen Wisniewski to left guard with the first team offense. Samson Satele had taken over as the starting center for the offensive line after signing a one-year deal a few days ago. It was believed since the Raiders drafted Wiz Jr. that he was locked in to start at center since that is what Head Coach Hue Jackson had said from the get go. Prior to the draft, Wiz Kid had said that he was more comfortable playing guard than he was playing center. Now it appears that the Raiders have accepted his more natural position along their offensive line. Satele had performed very well down the stretch of the final nine or so games of the 2010 NFL season, and it appears that the coaching staff has placed a lot of faith in him going forward into this season as well.
Wisniewski has taken over the left guard spot vacated by Robert Gallery and formerly filled by second-year Raider Daniel Loper. Evidently Loper wasn’t cutting it because he was replaced almost immediately after Wisniewski was delegated the second team center. The Raiders front five has been adjusted, re-adjusted, and reshuffled during this period of a little over a week that they have been in training camp with Cooper Carlisle and Jared Veldheer being the only constants. Today it is LT- Veldheer, LG- Wiz Jr., C- Satele, RG- Carlisle, and RT- Khalif Barnes.
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