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The Oakland Raiders reached a deal with another blocking tight end [url=http://www.buccaneerscheapshops.com/cheap-authentic-jordan-whitehead-jersey]Authentic Jordan Whitehead Jersey[/url] , agreeing on a three-year contract to retain Lee Smith on Wednesday.
A person familiar with the deal confirmed the agreement reached on the first day of the new league year. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the signing hadn't been announced by the team. NFL Network first reported the deal.
The Raiders also were trying to lure former Green Bay star receiver Jordy Nelson, a day after he was released by the Packers. Nelson visited the team facility and Oakland hoped to get him to agree to a contract before leaving.
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie worked in the Green Bay front office when Nelson was drafted in 2008, and Oakland wide receivers coach Edgar Bennett is a former receivers coach and offensive coordinator with the Packers.
Nelson made the Pro Bowl in 2014 and won AP Comeback Player of the Year in 2016 when he led the league with 14 touchdown catches a year after missing the entire season with a right knee injury.
The 32-year-old Nelson struggled last season with 53 catches for 482 yards and six TDs, recording a career-low 9.1 yards per reception as Aaron Rodgers missed more than half the year with injuries.
Nelson had four 1,000-yard seasons in Green Bay, including 1,519 yards on 98 catches in 2014. In 136 career games, he has 550 catches for 7,848 yards and 69 TDs.
Nelson has experience playing outside, as well as in the slot, and his addition could impact whether Michael Crabtree comes back for a fourth season in Oakland. Crabtree has a $7.7 million cap hit this season but can be cut without dead money.
The Raiders agreed to a three-year contract earlier this week with free agent Derek Carrier [url=http://www.arizonacardinalsteamonline.com/customized]Customized Arizona Cardinals Jerseys[/url] , a second person familiar with the deal said on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the contract hadn't been announced.
Smith joined Oakland originally as a free agent in 2015 and has been a strong run blocker in his three years with the team. He played 35 games, missing most of the 2016 season with a leg injury. He has 26 catches for 175 yards and one touchdown with the Raiders.
The Raiders have several major holes they will look to fill in free agency starting this week as they try to rebound from a disappointing six-win season that led to the firing of coach Jack Del Rio and the move to bring Jon Gruden back for a second stint as coach.
The most glaring spots for the Raiders are on defense, where Oakland will be seeking a starting cornerback to pair with last year's first-round pick Gareon Conley. They must also decide whether to bring back middle linebacker NaVorro Bowman as a free agent or find a replacement elsewhere, and they need to upgrade the pass rush, especially at defensive tackle.
The Raiders also will likely be in the market for a possible replacement for released former starting right tackle Marshall Newhouse, and a running back if they decide not to bring Marshawn Lynch back for a second season.
NOTES: The Raiders tendered offers to all five exclusive rights free agents: LB Shilique Calhoun, LB James Cowser, S Erik Harris, OL Denver Kirkland, K Giorgio Tavecchio.
The NFL's active career rushing leader may still be a starter at age 35.
Frank Gore is listed as sharing the No. 1 running back spot with incumbent Kenyan Drake on the first depth chart of training camp for the Miami Dolphins.
Gore signed with his hometown team in March and was widely expected to fill the role of veteran backup. He's awfully experienced for a feature back, with 13 seasons and 196 games of mileage.
But that mileage translates into lots of yardage 鈥?14 [url=http://www.cardinalsfootballauthentics.com/mason-cole-jersey-authentic]Youth Mason Cole Jersey[/url] ,026 yards, to be exact, which ranks behind only Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton, Barry Sanders and Curtis Martin.
And 10 practices into camp, Gore shows no sign he has lost a step.
"I'm not surprised," coach Adam Gase said Monday. "He's just been proving everybody wrong for so many years. You just never doubt that guy."
Gase, Gore and Drake all described as no big deal the depth chart, especially one posted leading up to the first exhibition game. But Gore has enjoyed showing in practice he can still play.
"I come out here and compete every day," he said. "Not just with Drake, but with every guy at my position. I think we all push and help each other. With me [url=http://www.atlantabravesteamShop.com/authentic-matt-kemp-jersey]Matt Kemp Jersey[/url] , whatever my coaches want me to do this year, I'm going to do it."
Drake could yet prove difficult to dislodge from the No. 1 job. He ranked sixth in the NFL last year with an average of 4.8 yards per carry, topping 100 yards in consecutive games after he became the starter in Week 13.
"I don't think anybody really cares about where they are on the depth chart before preseason even starts," Drake said. "We've got to go out there and earn our spots."
Gore said Drake is worthy friendly competition.
"Kenyan is a very talented guy," Gore said. He's smart; he can do everything on the field. I think that me and him can really help this team be successful this year."
That would be a change. The Dolphins went 6-10 last season, when they ranked 28th in both points and rushing.
They expect to have a more potent offense this year with an upgraded line, the return of Ryan Tannehill and their new running back, who's not new to the NFL at all.
Gore has started every game since 2012. Last year he averaged a career-worst 3.7 yards per carry for the Indianapolis Colts, but they provided little room to run, and he did reach the 100-yard mark twice in the season's final month.
He was thrilled at the chance to return to South Florida, where he was born and raised and starred for the Miami Hurricanes. The homecoming makes even Thursday's mostly meaningless game against Tampa Bay special to Gore [url=http://www.baltimoreravensteamauthentic.com/mark-andrews-jersey]Authentic Mark Andrews Jersey[/url] , because he's playing for Miami again.
"Pop Warner, high school, college and now the NFL," he said. "I want to do some great things for my city and for my team. I want to show guys that when they get up in age, if you love the game and you go out and work hard, it shouldn't matter what age you are. That's what my goal is this year."
If he starts, that's a bonus.
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