Scott Bair

Raiders DT Maurice Hurst signs rookie deal


Raiders DT Maurice Hurst signs rookie deal

Bay Area rent prices gave Maurice Hurst a sense of sticker shock. This area ranks high among the country’s most expensive to live, a far cry from whatever the defensive tackle was paying to live around the University of Michigan.

Hurst expressed surprise at local rent costs on social media a few weeks back, while shopping for a new spot during the Raiders offseason program.

It’s expensive, no doubt.

Hurst can afford it now, and won’t even have to resort to a second job as an Uber driver, something he did for extra cash in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Hurst signed his four-year rookie contract on Wednesday, securing significant funds for playing the game he loves.

Hurst will get paid according to his draft slot, with little room to move within the NFL’s rookie wage scale.

Sports salary site estimates Hurst, the No. 140 overall pick, will earn $2.7 million over the life of the deal. He is scheduled to receive a $293,148 signing bonus, and carry a $553,287 salary-cap hit.

Hurst was widely considered a first-round talent, someone who fell down draft boards due to an irregular EKG discovered by NFL teams at the scouting combine. He was cleared to play at Michigan, and the Raiders have cleared him to play in 2018.

The drop cost him some money, something that will surely motivate him as a rookie.

“I’m upset, and disappointed in teams that decided not to pick me,” Hurst said on a conference call after being drafted. “One got a great player for very little. I’m excited to be a Raider.”

Hurst is an excellent interior pass rusher, and could fill an immediate need on the Raiders defensive line. He’s also a stout run stopper surely more capable than his draft slot suggests.

Seventh-round pick signs Raiders contract, enters WR competition


Seventh-round pick signs Raiders contract, enters WR competition

The Raiders' receiver room is pretty packed. Competition will be fierce for spots behind Amari Cooper, Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant.

Oklahoma State alum Marcell Ateman will be fighting for a spot this offseason. The seventh-round won’t be given anything, but has the tools required to compete at the professional level.

He’s formally getting paid for his services now, after signing his four-year rookie contract on Wednesday afternoon.

Ateman and the Raiders rookie class joined veterans for the offseason program starting Monday, and activity increases with OTAs beginning next week.

Ryan Switzer and Dwyane Harris, who are also return men, join the receiver competition with Ateman, Seth Roberts, Griff Whalen, Johny Holton and Isaac Whitney.

Ateman isn’t the fastest guy, but he’s known as a quality route runner with sure hands. He had 146 receptions for 2,466 yards and 13 touchdowns in his college career.

Raiders sign their punter of the present and future


Raiders sign their punter of the present and future

Johnny Townsend should be the Raiders punter in 2018. The fifth-round pick is unproven at this level, but he has the power and accuracy to succeed at the NFL. The Raiders are confident in this kid, so much so that he’s the only punter on the roster.

Colby Wadman was waived last week, and Townsend will take over all practice reps moving forward.

That on-field work starts in earnest when OTAs begin next week, but he took care of an off-field matter on Monday.Townsend signed his four-year rookie contract, officially becoming a Raiders employee. His salary is largely set by the league’s rookie wage scale, and compensation is based on draft slot.

The University of Florida alum was taken No. 173 overall. He’s expected to earn $2.576 million over the life of his rookie deal, per The site states he’d due a $161,475 signing bonus, and carries a $534,388 salary-cap hit.

The Raiders are excited to have Townsend in Alameda.

“He was our guy, I think, from the beginning,” Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said. “He’s an excellent directional punter. He has a strong leg. When you talk about punters, no one really looks into what kind of holders they are. The holder is as important to the operation of a field goal than almost the kick itself. This man can put the ball down, he can field a bad snap. He’s an excellent punter. He can handle a bad snap and he’s a great kid. He’s an outstanding athlete, so we’re happy to have him.”

Raiders add two to roster

The Raiders signed safety Dallin Leavitt and long snapper Drew Scott, tryout players who impressed at the team's rookie minicamp. The Raiders roster is back at 90, the league's offseason maximum.