Reggie McKenzie’s 2014 draft class is his signature feat, by far the highlight of his time as Raiders general manager. He picked superstars Khalil Mack and Derek Carr in the first two rounds. Guard Gabe Jackson and defensive tackle Justin Ellis came next anchoring offensive and defensive lines, respectively.
All four of those picks will remain Raiders long term. Carr and Jackson got re-upped last summer. Mack’s mega-extension is coming, make no doubt about it.
Ellis got paid on Friday afternoon, according to a league source, earning a three-year contract worth just north of $15 million and more than $6 million guaranteed. The defensive tackle is expected to officially sign the deal in the coming days.
The massive run stopper played more last season than previous years, but still focused on the base defense. A total of 58.4 percent of his snaps were spent defending the run. Ellis had a career-high 48 tackles and a half sack last season.
That’s the only sack stat of his career. That’s why his retention doesn’t change the need for interior pass rushers, which will be sought on the open market and the NFL Draft.
Ellis is an easy-going, popular member of the Raiders locker room. He will fill a role on the defensive interior without breaking the bank.
He’s also the first pending free agent to agree to terms a new deal. The Raiders are also believed to be keen on re-signing TJ Carrie (another member of that 2014 class) and Denico Autry, among others.
NFL Network was first to report the news.