The Oakland Raiders are having a strong day in free agency. First, they struck a deal with defensive end Justin Tuck. Now the team has locked up linebacker LaMarr Woodley to a deal. It is becoming very apparent the Raiders want to bolster their pass rush and the signings today are a step forward in accomplishing that.
ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting the deal is worth a maximum of 12 million dollars over two years. With Tuck signing a two year, 11 million dollar deal and Woodley signing a two year, 12 million dollar deal, the Raiders make out very well while being financially responsible. Both also have Super Bowl championship pedigree. Tuck won two with the New York Giants and Woodley won one with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Woodley, who is 29 years old, started 11 games in 2013 for the Steelers and recorded five sacks. He has previously recorded 10 or more sacks in three seasons from 2008-2010. With Woodley and Tuck on board, the Raiders have added 16 sacks to their roster in two players. That is the same number of sacks defensive end Lamarr Houston recorded in his four seasons with Oakland. He took a deal to join the Chicago Bears on the first day of free agency.
The signing of Woodley also speaks to the change in defensive scheme the Raiders have been striving for the past two seasons. Although the team ran a base 4-3 scheme, they have been trying to transition to a 3-4 scheme. Last season, they sprinkled that scheme in a few times, but lacked the personnel to use it more. Woodley fits perfectly as an outside linebacker with pass rush ability, but can be used at defensive end in a 4-3 as well.
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