The Las Vegas Raiders showed their confidence in center Andre James by giving him a three-year contract less than a week after trading away starter Rodney Hudson.
The Raiders gave James the new deal on Monday with hopes that he will fill the void created by the trade of three-time Pro Bowler Hudson. NFL Network reported that the deal is worth $12.5 million with about $6 million guaranteed. James was eligible to be a restricted free agent in 2022 and an unrestricted free agent the following season before this deal.
Las Vegas also signed defensive linemen Matt Dickerson and Darius Philon to one-year contracts on Monday in the latest moves to add depth at the position.
The Raiders were willing to part with Hudson in a deal that saves them money because of their belief that James could take over at center. They dealt Hudson and a seventh-round pick to Arizona for a third-rounder.
The Raiders originally signed James as an undrafted free agent out of UCLA in 2019. James had been a tackle in college but the Raiders moved him to center.
He got limited action as a rookie, playing 45 snaps against Houston after Hudson got hurt and then starting the following game.
He played exclusively on special teams last season but now will get another shot at center. Las Vegas has also added former Houston starter Nick Martin this offseason but plans to give James the first shot at the job.
Dickerson spent the past three seasons in Tennessee after being signed as an undrafted free agent in 2018. He had 15 tackles in 18 career games. He played 10 games last season with 10 tackles and one quarterback pressure. He also had a sack in the playoffs.
Philon played four seasons for the Chargers from 2015-18, with 8 1/2 sacks over his final two seasons when current Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley had the same job with the Chargers.
Philon signed a $10 million, two-year contract with Arizona in 2019 but was cut during his first training camp after being arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. This is his first opportunity with another team since then.
The Raiders have added five defensive linemen this offseason, previously reaching deals with Yannick Ngakoue, Solomon Thomas and Quinton Jefferson. They also have re-signed Johnathan Hankins, David Irving and Kendal Vickers, to go with returning players Maxx Crosby, Clelin Ferrell, Maurice Hurst, Carl Nassib and Arden Key.