Oakland Raiders fullback Marcel Reece helped jumpstart the offseason by telling members of the media that he wanted general manager Reggie McKenzie to make some “Raider-ass moves.”
It started with signing Rodger Saffold to a monster deal, whose signing was later negated after a failed physical.
Certainly, that’s not what Reece meant. Three weeks into free agency, McKenzie has shown he has done precisely what Reece wanted.
Three-time Pro Bowler and Bay Area native Maurice Jones-Drew signed a three-year contract with the Raiders, adding another player with a chip on his shoulder.
Jones-Drew told media during a conference call that some teams wanted him to sign as a player-coach, not something he really wanted to do. He added:
“I have a ton left in my game. People tend to look at running backs and say ‘oh you’re 29, you don’t have anything left.’ Well, last year I was coming off a major foot surgery, which most people don’t even play, and I played 15 games (in 2013). … I’ve been a starter for three years and a backup for three years, so I feel like I have a ton left in the tank.”
That isn’t the only type of detractor he wants to prove wrong.
After playing six seasons in Jacksonville, the team made no relative effort to re-sign him. Combining that with everything else, Jones-Drew says he’s out to show every nay-sayer that they’re wrong:
“The only goal I have is to win. And all the other individual accomplishments and accolades will come with that. When you come into an organization that is so storied, they know how to win. They know what it takes. Obviously, we’re in a tough division. But that’s okay.”
No doubt, Jones-Drew has what it takes.
While playing with Jacksonville, a team with virtually no offensive line support, he carried the ball 1,804 times for over 8,000 yards for a 4.5 yards-per-carry average.
All that while facing off against some of the best run-stuffers football has to offer.
Growing up in Antioch, Jones-Drew still lives in the Bay Area, even though he was playing in Florida. A graduate of De La Salle in Concord, he played three years at UCLA before being selected by Jacksonville in the second round of the 2006 NFL draft.
He also has experience returning kickoffs, something that should prove helpful, especially if he splits carries evenly with running back’s Darren McFadden and Latavius Murray.
Oakland inks two defensive linemen
Just after announcing the signing of Jones-Drew, the Raiders announced the re-signing of defensive tackle Pat Sims and the free agent acquisition of defensive end C.J. Wilson.
Wilson ( 6-foot-3, 306 pounds), joins the Raiders after four seasons with the Green Bay Packers. Last season, he played in eight games and totaled 10 tackles (four solo). His career totals include 50 games played with 11 starts, 103 tackles (55 solo), 3.5 sacks and one pass defensed.
Wilson said, via team press release:
“It feels great to be a Raider. I’m excited to help the team win and ready to come make some noise.”
Sims came to Oakland in 2013 as a young player with something to prove, and he proved enough to play another year of professional football.
Last season, Sims’ first with the Silver and Black, saw him start a career-high 16 games, totaling 49 tackles (31 solo) and two sacks. Sims turned in a career performance on Dec. 22 against San Diego, posting a career-high 13 tackles (eight solo) and one sack.
Prior to joining the Raiders, the 6-foot-2, 310-pounder played five seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. His career totals include 76 games played with 39 starts, 228 tackles (129 solo), seven sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one interception and one pass defensed.