Raiders add to LB corps, sign Burnett

Raiders add to LB corps, sign Burnett
March 17, 2013, 11:15 pm
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In 16 games in 2012, Kevin Burnett had 110 tackles (80 solo) and 2.5 sacks for the Miami Dolphins. (AP)

The Raiders continued to add to their defensive depth through free agency Sunday by signing veteran outside linebacker Kevin Burnett, who has not missed a game since 2009 and has played the past two seasons in Miami. The Dolphins cut him on Tuesday.

"It had to be a fit," Burnett said on a conference call with Bay Area reporters. "It had to be a need and it had to be something that I think we were all willing to do. More importantly, you had to have the money, the economics, the coaching. It all had to be right. That's all part of the fit."

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His brother, Kaelin, is also a linebacker for the Raiders.

"I wasn't coming in to play the same position as my brother," he added. "I'll go on record saying that. I want to make sure that we all understand that I'm coming in here to assist my brother, first and foremost, and come in here and play the best I can. Provide leadership and ownership of your responsibilities."

Burnett, 30, was a second-round draft choice of Dallas out of Tennessee in 2005. After four seasons with the Cowboys, he played two years in San Diego, followed by two more in Miami.

He has 17 1/2 sacks, 20 passes defensed, four interceptions, three returned for touchdowns, seven forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 120 games, 59 starts. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Burnett, though, has been a starter since 2010, and had a career-high 110 tackles (80 solo) last season for the Dolphins while adding a career high-tying five passes defensed with 2 1/2 sacks.

Burnett is the third free agent linebacker to sign with the Raiders, joining Kaluka Maiava and Nick Roach. The other two Raiders free agent signees are defensive end Jason Hunter and defensive tackle Pat Sims.

Interestingly enough, former Raiders linebacker Philip Wheeler signed with the Dolphins on Tuesday.