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.