Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie has spent much of the offseason building up a defense that ranked 23rd in the NFL last season. First he signed linebacker Bruce Irvin, then he added cornerback Sean Smith, and now he's added some safety help.
ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that the Oakland Raiders have signed veteran safety Reggie Nelson to a two-year deal.
Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Tuesday that the free agent was expected to sign with the Raiders after flying in and visiting with the Raiders on Monday.
The 32-year-old safety made his first Pro Bowl last season, trying the league-high with eight interceptions on the year. He's a ball-hawking safety who will fill the shoes of future Hall of Famer Charles Woodson, who decided to hang up the cleats after a legendary career.
Nelson will be entering his 10th NFL season and finished with 77 tackles and 14 passes defensed to go along with his eight interceptions.
Before playing with the Bengals, Nelson played under current Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio with the Jacksonville Jaguars for his first three seasons in the NFL. The Bengals saw him as expendable after giving fellow safety George Iloka a hefty contract this offseason and having a former third-round pick in Shawn Williams ready to take the starting job.
Nelson is expected to start opposite of current safety Nate Allen, pending any other moves by McKenzie and the Raiders front office.