The Oakland Raiders finished last in the NFL in rushing last season, and the offensive line figured to be an area they would address in free agency. Now the Raiders have reportedly found their man in Kansas City Chiefs center Rodney Hudson.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports Hudson will sign a five-year, $44.5 million contract. The Chiefs could try to match or better the offer before Hudson can officially sign Tuesday.
The guaranteed money in the contract isn’t presently known, but Hudson’s deal could be a mere drop in the bucket of Oakland’s estimated $63.5 million in salary cap space for next season.
Hudson was part of a Chiefs offensive line that contributed to the No. 10 rushing attack in the league last season, and he figures to provide even more protection for Oakland’s second-year quarterback Derek Carr. The Raiders’ line allowed only 28 sacks last season, and giving Carr more time to work in the pocket could be a major boon in his development.
Who rushes behind Hudson and the improved line remains to be seen. Veteran running back Maurice Jones-Drew announced his retirement last week, and the inconsistent Darren McFadden is an unrestricted free agent who the Raiders don’t figure to bring back unless it’s a more cap-friendly deal.
Second-year back Latavius Murray is still on the roster, but Oakland could still use its considerable cap space to sign one of several high-profile running backs currently available on the market like the San Diego Chargers’ Ryan Mathews or even the Dallas Cowboys DeMarco Murray.
The deal comes on the heels of Oakland missing out on former Detroit Lions and now Miami Dolphins-bound defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who agreed to a six-year, $114 million deal with $60 million in guarantees, according to several reports.
In other early free agency news, the New York Jets and New England Patriots are reportedly the top two suitors for All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis, according to Yahoo Sports.
Revis, who turns 30 in July, spent his first six years in the NFL with the Jets before he was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2013. However, the Jets and owner Woody Johnson have reportedly made re-signing Revis one of their top priorities.
The Jets have nearly $39 million in salary cap space to help a squad that finished last season with a 4-12 record, and a secondary that was ranked No. 14 in the league. However, opposing quarterbacks averaged a 101.5 passer rating against the Jets the third worst mark in the NFL, and Revis could potentially shutdown an entire side of the field.
The Patriots, after claiming the Super Bowl, decided to pass on Revis’ $20 million option for next season, but could still sign him to a new, more cap-friendly deal. New England is currently over the $143 million salary cap by $4.2 million, according to Spotrac.com, and already came to terms with safety Devin McCourty on a five-year, $47.5 million deal with $28.5 million guaranteed.