Raiders jump into free agency pool

Raiders jump into free agency pool
March 13, 2013, 3:15 pm
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Jason Hunter, 29, has worked with both Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen during stints in Green Bay and Denver, respectively. (AP)

And on the second day, the Raiders got involved…

As expected, with the initial rush of NFL free-agent signings abated, Oakland signed a trio of free agents on Wednesday while addressing glaring holes on defense -- defensive end Jason Hunter, linebacker Kaluka Maiava and defensive tackle Pat Sims.

[RELATED: Raiders free agency tracker]

"We're excited to add three veterans through free agency," Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said in a statement, "helping to create depth and competition on defense. We'll continue to add free agents as the opportunity surfaces."

The Raiders have also been linked to Chicago linebacker Nick Roach, New York Jets guard Matt Slauson and former No. 3 overall draft pick/quarterback Vince Young.

[RELATED: What's crazier, Raiders' cap space or interest in Vince Young?]

The 6-foot-4, 275-pound Hunter, 29, has experience with both McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen as Hunter spent the first three years of his NFL career with Green Bay before a one-year trip to Detroit. He spent the past three years in Denver, though a triceps injury had him on injured reserve all season last year. Hunter, who was an undrafted rookie from Appalachian State, has 11 sacks, six passes defensed and three forced fumbles in 88 games, 23 starts.

Maiava, who turns 26 on March 22, was a fourth-round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns out of USC in the 2009 NFL draft. The 6-foot, 240-pound Maiava has played in 50 NFL games, 22 starts, and plays inside so he might be considered a replacement for Rolando McClain at middle linebacker when he is released. Maiava started 13 games last season and had two sacks with three passes defensed and forced two fumbles.

Sims, 27, is a run stuffer at 6-foot-2, 325 pounds and should help replace the losses of Richard Seymour and Desmond Bryant, as well as Tommy Kelly if he is released, as expected. Sims, though, missed eight games last year with a hamstring injury and had 17 tackles (12 solo) with an interception for Cincinnati, who drafted him out of Auburn in the third round of the 2008 draft. He has five sacks and two passes defensed in 60 games, 23 starts.

Also, the Raiders announced the re-signing of cornerback/kick returner Coye Francies.