Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

March 3, 2009
Raiders host free agents, add another tackle

According to, the Raiders have signed their first free agent since the signing period began last week.

Erik Pears, a 6-8, 305-pound tackle from Denver, signed with the team Tuesday. He started 16 games in 2007 at right tackle. He also has 10 career starts at left tackle.

Coming from Denver means Pears in versed in the zone-blocking scheme.

The Raiders are also hosting two free agents from Seattle, QB Charlie Frye and OT Ray Willis.

Willis (6-6, 315) started 10 of the 16 games he played in last season. He'd played in only six games the previous three seasons.

Hosting Frye could be another indication the team intends to deal Andrew Walter, who has been unhappy for some time.

If the offense is changed a lot, the biggest reason for keeping Walter (his familiarity with the offense) would be a moot point.

Bruce Gradkowski and JaMarcus Russell are the only quarterbacks under contract.

And having lost Jake Grove to Miami to a five-year deal worth a reported $29 million wih $14.5 million guaranteed, the Raiders are hosting Buffalo free agent C Melvin Fowler, according to reports Duke Preston, who replaced Fowler as the starting center last year in Buffalo is also visiting the Raiders today.

Fowler (6-3, 310) started five games last season after starting 16 games in 2006 and 2007.

Preston (6-5, 326) started the last 11 games of the 2008 season.

--Jason Jones

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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