Raiders bring back former 1st round pick

Napoleon Harris flamed out in his first stint with the Raiders. Now the former first-round draft pick is back for another run in Oakland as the team grabs some insurance for injured middle linebacker Kirk Morrison.

A familiar face was back in a Raiders' uniform after linebacker Napoleon Harris signed a one-year contract and joined the rest of the team for a solo practice Monday. One of the team's two first-round picks in 2002, Harris was out of football and looking for work when Oakland called.

With Kirk Morrison expected to be out at least two weeks with a dislocated elbow suffered in Saturday's preseason game against San Francisco, the Raiders signed Harris to back up Ricky Brown, who will start at middle linebacker until Morrison recovers.

"We talked a few months back and then things kind of tailed off from there," Harris said. "My job is to come in and learn as quick as I can, get acclimated and, hopefully, be able to play some good football."

Harris is best known for being the player involved in the Raiders' trade for Randy Moss prior to the 2005 season. He spent time in Minnesota with the Vikings then signed with Kansas City before being let go.

In Oakland, Harris will play understudy to Brown at middle linebacker but there's no guarantee he sticks around. The injury to Morrison and the one that has kept Ike Ekejiuba sidelined are not considered serious, meaning the depth chart will get crowded once those two return.

To make room for Harris, the Raiders released Ricky Manning Jr.

Wagaman's take: Morrison' injury left a void on the Raiders roster but signing Harris is a little puzzling considering the team had taken a long look at Derrick Brooks and had him in for a visit. Barring another injury, he's likely to be a camp contender and nothing more.


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