Raiders add safety Marcus Gilchrist, fullback Keith Smith
Gilchrist, a 29-year-old strong safety, spent last season with the Houston Texans appearing in all 16 games.
He recorded 56 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble. His 11 career interceptions are greater than any other defensive back currently on Raider roster control — Oakland intercepted just five passes as a team in 2017. Gilchrist has also forced five fumbles in his career.
For the Raiders, adding a safety with the big play ability of Gilchrist was a key to the offseason given their 241 passing yards allowed per game (26th in the NFL) and league low in picks. He will likely start.
Smith, 25, spent his first four seasons with the Dallas Cowboys who signed him as an undrafted free agent, and moved to fullback in 2016 after playing his first two seasons at linebacker.
The Pomona native and San Jose State University alum has appeared in all 16 games at fullback each of the last two seasons. The Raiders will likely look for Smith to assist with blocking primarily, given current starter Jamize Olawale‘s affinity for ball-carrier duties.
This makes four free agent acquisitions Wednesday alone for the Raiders, with Gilchrist being the first on the defensive side of the ball.