Raiders agree with LB Nick Roach

Raiders agree with LB Nick Roach
March 15, 2013, 7:45 am
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Over his career, Nick Roach has played in 80 games with 163 tackles and 3.5 sacks. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

Once I came out here to visit, I knew it was going to be a fast process.
—Nick Roach

Cue up, "La Cucaracha."

Sure, the Coliseum during Raiders gone games is already awash in AC/DC's "Hell's Bells," Ice Cube's "Raider Nation" and Too $hort's "Blow the whistle."

But surely, with the Raiders' latest free agent signing, former Chicago linebacker Nick Roach, the Mexican folk corrido will be whistled on more than a few occasions when Roach makes a play. Especially if he replaces bust Rolando McClain, who is surprisingly still on the roster and has yet to be cut.

"It's going to be great to be a middle linebacker," Roach told ESPNChicago.com. "Can't wait to get with Raiders coaches and learn the scheme.

"Once I came out here to visit, I knew it was going to be a fast process. The two days spent with the Raiders were great."

[RELATED: Nick Roach career stats | 2012 game logs]

According to reports, Roach signed a multi-year deal worth between $3 and $4 million per season.

In Chicago, Roach, 27, was the Bears' starter at strong-side linebacker since 2008 and relieved Brian Urlacher in the middle. Roach only finished sixth in tackles for the Bears last season, but he averaged more than 10 tackles per game in their last four after replacing Urlacher full-time when he was injured.

The 6-foot-1, 234-pound Roach was an undrafted rookie out of Northwestern in 2007 and has played in 80 games, 59 starts, in Chicago. He has 3 1/2 sacks, 14 passes defensed, five forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in his career.

[RELATED: Raiders free agency tracker | Raiders offseason scorecard]

Over the past two seasons, Roach has started 29 of 32 games, including all 16 last season with 14 starts. He had 66 tackles, 51 solo, with 1 1/2 sacks, a forced fumble and had a career high-tying four passes defensed in 2012.

Roach joins other free agents signed by the Raiders since Wednesday in linebacker Kaluka Maiava, who figures to replace Philip Wheeler at strong-side linebacker, defensive end Jason Hunter, who could replace Matt Shaughnessy if he departs, and defensive tackle Pat Sims, who figures to step in for a void created by the departure of Desmond Bryant and expected departures of Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly.