Everybody, let’s welcome to 2013 free agency the Oakland Raiders, who made their first splash since the signing period opened Tuesday.
The team that had a relatively quiet first day of free agency, save for two notable releases, on Wednesday made their first three unrestricted free agent signings of the offseason, coming to terms with three on defense—linebacker Kaluka Maiava, defensive tackle Pat Sims and defensive end Jason Hunter.
OK. It’s a small splash, but it’s something.
Maiava, 26, started 13 games for the Cleveland Browns last season and has 22 starts in 50 games. He arrives a day after starting strong side linebacker Philip Wheeler signed with the Miami Dolphins. [...]
Sims, 27, has 23 starts in five seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals but just one in the past two years. At 6-foot-2, 335 pounds, Sims can play over the nose at a position of need for a team that lost Desmond Bryant to Cleveland in free agency and has parted ways with veteran Richard Seymour.
Hunter, 6-foot-4, 275 pounds, spent last season on the injured reserve list of the Denver Broncos with a triceps injury. Hunter has 23 starts and played in 88 games with the Broncos, Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers. He was an undrafted free agent signed by the Packers when McKenzie was in the Green Bay personnel department.
They’re not sexy names but they fit the Raiders’ budget. Trying to find the diamonds in the rough is pretty much all Oakland can afford to do right now.
The Philip Wheeler signing wasn’t much different last offseason, and, even though he was only in town for one year, it turned out pretty well.