Raiders release DT Tommy Kelly
Updated: March 27, 2013
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — The Oakland Raiders released defensive tackle
Tommy Kelly on Wednesday, cutting ties with their longest-tenured
position player on the roster.
The move is the latest to distance the organization from the era of
late owner Al Davis. Kelly originally signed with Oakland as an
undrafted free agent in 2004 and quickly became a mainstay on the
defense, signing a $50.1 million, seven-year contract to remain with
Oakland in 2008.
But general manager Reggie McKenzie cut Kelly two years before the end
of that contract, getting Kelly's $6.5 million salary for 2013 off the
Kelly, 32, is the third prominent player acquired by Davis who has been
released this month, following defensive back Michael Huff and receiver
Punter Shane Lechler, safety Mike Mitchell, tight end Brandon Myers,
defensive end Matt Shaughnessy and defensive tackle Desmond Bryant have
also all left as free agents. Only 18 players who were part of the
organization when Davis died Oct. 8, 2011, are still on the roster.
Running back Darren McFadden and safety Tyvon Branch are now the
longest-tenured position players on the roster, having been drafted in
2008. Long snapper Jon Condo joined the team the previous season and
kicker Sebastian Janikowski was a first-round pick in 2000.
Kelly started all 80 games for Oakland over the past five seasons. His
best years came in 2010 and '11 when he teamed with Richard Seymour to
form a formidable force in the middle of the defensive line. Kelly had
14½ sacks over those two seasons and was one of the better pass-rushing
tackles in the league.
But he struggled to get to the quarterback last season, recording just
one sack in 16 games. He also had only 18 quarterback pressures,
according to Pro Football Focus, down from an average of more than 30
the previous two years.
The Raiders are completely reworking their defensive line, having lost
Shaughnessy and Bryant to free agency and with no interest in bringing
back Seymour as a free agent. Defensive end Lamarr Houston is the only
McKenzie has signed Jason Hunter, Pat Sims and Vance Walker this month
and could use the No. 3 overall pick in April's draft to add another
Raiders Cut Kelly
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