Raiders sign Kelly to record deal
Tommy Kelly
Tommy Kelly

Posted Feb 28, 2008

The Oakland Raiders kept one of their own on Thursday when they re-signed unrestricted free agent to be Tommy Kelly to a seven-year deal.

With the possibility of losing both of their starting defenders on the interior of the defensive line, the Raiders ensured they would retain a player they feel is an up-and-coming star and move into a defensive tackle role.

Singing Kelly to a seven-year deal reported to be worth as much as $50.5 million, the Raiders get their replacement for Warren Sapp at the three-technique.

Kelly started at right defensive end for the Raiders in 2007 and was the leading tackler along the line when he was lost for the year due to a knee injury.

Kelly is Oakland’s most versatile defensive player and moving him inside to his more natural position will increase his effectiveness.

Oakland’s run defense was a problem all season but Kelly wasn’t to blame. Keeping the former undrafted free agent was a priority for the Raiders, as they rebuild their defensive front.

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