For the second straight day, the Oakland Raiders have retained a player on an exclusive rights tender. Yesterday, it has linebacker Kaelin Burnett and today, it is tackle Matt McCants. The exclusive rights tender allows the Raiders to keep players with two or fewer years in the NFL at a veteran minimum salary without them being able to negotiate with other teams. McCants signed his tender to remain in Oakland for 2014.
The 24 year-old McCants proved to be a valuable depth option and spot starter along the offensive line in 2013. With the team dealing with a bevy of injuries to offensive linemen last season, McCants took his opportunity and proved his worth. He appeared in 13 games for Oakland, making three starts at right tackle.
McCants was a sixth-round pick by the New York Giants in the 2012 NFL Draft out of Alabama-Birmingham. He made it to their final cuts, but was released and placed on the practice squad. He spent a season on the Giants practice squad, before the Raiders signed him to their practice squad last season. The 6'5", 310 pound tackle, was activated to Oakland's roster when Jared Veldheer went on injured reserve with torn triceps.
The three games McCants started for the Raiders in 2013 came in the middle of the year against the San Diego Chargers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Philadelphia Eagles. Oakland was able to win two of three and rush for more than 100 yards in each. He will be a back-up right tackle in 2014, looking to compete for a roster spot. Raiders head coach Dennis Allen was impressed by McCants last season. He will get an opportunity to grow and develop, while providing much needed depth along the offensive line.Tags: Dennis Allen, exclusive rights tender, Football, Jared Veldheer, Kaelin Burnett, Matt McCants, NFL, NFL Draft, Oakland, Oakland Raiders