Raiders build on offensive side of the ball
The Oakland Raiders continued their quest to rebuild, signing veteran guard Kevin Boothe and wide receiver James Jones.
Jones, who comes over from Green Bay, had a great 2013 season with 59 catches for 817 yards and three touchdowns. In Green Bay’s Week 2 victory over Washington, Jones posted a career-high 178 receiving yards.
Boothe, formerly of the New York Giants, started all 16 games in each of the past two seasons at different positions along the offensive line. The eight-year veteran started 10 games at left guard and six at center last season.
In his career, Boothe has played in 105 games with 62 starts at both guard positions, right tackle and center.
Boothe’s versatility is something general manager Reggie McKenzie has coveted, and should prove useful in the case of an untimely injury.
Despite the added depth along the offensive line, Jones may have been the biggest get of the Raiders offseason.
A veteran presence in the receiving corps — with a Super Bowl ring as well — Jones said during a conference call that he has experience to offer:
“First and foremost is leading by example. … If I see something out on the practice field, I’ll do my best to speak up and be a leader. But it all starts with leading by example.”
Jones has a long history in the Bay Area, playing college ball at San Jose State University, and he has family only 30 minutes from Oakland.
Jones’ connection with McKenzie from his days with the Packers is not one that goes without mention. Jones told the media the Green Bay connection was something that lured him to Oakland and he sees a nice team being built.
For receivers Denarius Moore and Rod Streater, James should be a welcome presence. Not only can they learn from his experience, but with a certified play-maker the offense should open up.
With the possibility of safety coverage shifting towards Jones, it could leave Moore semi-uncovered, as it would for Streater.
It would also help in recruiting a veteran quarterback. With an overhaul of the offensive line, multiple top-flight defensive additions and now Jones, any quarterback looking for redemption would certainly be thrilled to come to Oakland.
Whether it be Matt Schaub — to whom the Raiders have been linked of late — or anyone else. And Jones says he’ll do all he can:
“Whoever we have behind center, I’m going to do the same thing I did for Aaron (Rodgers), run every route to win, be as open as I can to help whoever’s back there and get this offense rolling.”
The Raiders still have work to do, but the rebuild is rolling. And it’s rolling towards being a more attractive place to sign with every passing day.