ALAMEDA – The Raiders added two defensive tackles to fortify an ailing position group.
The Silver and Black agreed on terms of a contract with veterans Johnathan Hankins and Clinton McDonald on Wednesday afternoon.
The team did not immediately announce the moves, but they weren’t well-kept secrets. Hankins had a locker prepared for him on Wednesday. McDonald’s agents announced later than afternoon their client agreed on terms with the Raiders.
Neither player participated in Wednesday’s work, but they should be up and ready for Sunday’s game against the host Denver Broncos.
Edge rusher Shilique Calhoun was waived in one corresponding move. The other was not immediately known.
Hankins is a solid run player – he also had 12 career sacks and three forced fumbles -- who was drafted by the New York Giants and played last season in Indianapolis. The Colts cut him just one season after providing a three-year, $27 million contract.
“Hankins has been a good player in this league,” Gruden said.
Hankins is 325 pounds and can clog the middle while Justin Ellis recovers. He suffered a foot injury in the season opener and is unavailable. P.J. Hall is also down with a sprained ankle, prompting the Raiders to move quickly acquiring new talent.
Hankins signed a one-year contract with the Raiders. So did McDonald, who visited the Raiders in free agency but chose to sign with Denver. The Broncos forced him to take a pay cut in June and then cut him in September.
Since McDonald and Hankins signed contracts after Week 1, their base salaries aren’t guaranteed.
McDonald has 20 sacks over eight NFL seasons, and is a decent interior pass rusher.
“He is a guy who played nose tackle in Tampa and Cincinnati, and when Gerald McCoy got hurt in Tampa, he played the three technique,” Gruden said. “He has versatility at a few spots.”