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Raiders add help at cornerback with deals for Melvin, Wright
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ALAMEDA  (AP) — The Oakland Raiders added some needed help at cornerback, agreeing to contracts with free agents Rashaan Melvin and Shareece Wright on Friday.
A person familiar with the move said Melvin got a one-year, $6.5 million contract. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the terms were not announced. ESPN first reported the signing.
Wright announced his plans to join the Raiders on his Instagram account .
The Raiders also added some depth to the defensive line with former San Francisco 49er Tank Carradine saying he will stay in the Bay Area and join Oakland.
Oakland has lost the three cornerbacks who played the most last season, releasing Sean Smith and David Amerson, and losing TJ Carrie to Cleveland in free agency. The Raiders were looking for proven players to team with last year’s first-round pick Gareon Conley, and they hope Melvin and Wright can fill that role.
“I felt like it was a place I could call home,” Melvin said. “I can relate to these guys. They have big plans for me, big plans for the organization. I was born to be a part of something special. That’s happening in Oakland.”
The 28-year-old Melvin had three interceptions and 13 passes defensed in 10 games last year for Indianapolis. He limited opposing passers to a 67.2 passer rating when getting targeted last season, according to SportRadar, and should immediately step into a starting role for the Raiders.
After spending time with Tampa Bay, Miami, Baltimore and New England, Melvin has thrived the past two seasons with the Colts.
“I’ve been cut four times. I’ve been in four different locker rooms, and I was able to gain my teammates’ trust, my coaches’ trust and the organization’s trust as well,” he said. “My confidence just grows over time. There’s not a lot of players that can say they’ve been cut four times and end up in a situation where I’m at today. Like I said, it’s perfect timing. My work ethic, my style of play and the way I approach the game and the way I approach my job, my business, it speaks for itself.”
Wright, who turns 31 next month, has played seven seasons with the Chargers, Ravens and Bills. He spent last season in Buffalo where he had one interception and five passes defensed in 12 games. Wright has experience playing both outside and in the slot.
Carradine played 44 games over four seasons with the 49ers, recording 5½ sacks.
These additions are the latest move to overhaul a defense that struggled mightily during a six-win season in 2017 that led to the midseason firing of coordinator Ken Norton Jr. and cost head coach Jack Del Rio his job after the season.
New coach Jon Gruden and coordinator Paul Guenther are looking to make major improvements on a unit that had holes at all three levels and struggled both against the pass and run despite the presence of star defensive end Khalil Mack.
A year after signing no prominent defensive free agents, the Raiders have already added several new potential starters in free agency, with linebacker Tahir Whitehead and safety Marcus Gilchrist having already signed deals this week.
“You could just feel the energy in the building in what everyone feels like is ahead,” Gilchrist said. “Obviously, you know the offensive weapons that are here. You always start with the quarterback and there’s a great quarterback here. With that in mind. You have the pass rush here and a bunch of young players that have a bunch of upside. It’s exciting to be around and see and be here firsthand.”
The Raiders also signed free-agent long snapper Andrew DePaola — who got a four-year, $4.27 million contract with $875,000 guaranteed — and punter Colby Wadman.
DePaola replaces longtime long snapper Jon Condo, whom the Raiders decided not to bring back for a 12th season.
DePaola spent last season with Chicago after playing his first three years with Tampa Bay. He has played all 64 games the past four years.
Wadman played college ball at UC Davis and had tryouts last season with Oakland and Indianapolis.
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