2012 NFL Free Agency: Raiders Sign Tight End Andre Hardy

The Oakland Raiders have come to an agreement with free-agent tight end Andre Hardy, but don't bother scouring the Internet for information about his football career because your efforts will prove futile. 

That's because Hardy is the latest in a line of college basketball players attempting to successfully transition into a career as an NFL tight end, following the path trail-blazed by Antonio Gates and more recently Jimmy Graham.

Hardy was a two-year player on the basketball team at Cal State Fullerton after starting his college career at Oral Roberts University.  His father, Andre (but not Sr.), is a former NFL running back who played with the Eagles, Seahawks and 49ers.

From an objective standpoint, Hardy seems qualified to make the transition, having been clocked at a 4.71 forty with a 35 inch vertical jump and 20 reps on the bench press.  At 6'5" and 240 pounds, he has the size and bulk needed to compete as a tight end.

Hardy joins a trio of other tight ends on the Raiders roster in David Ausberry, Brandon Myers and Richard Gordon.  The team let go of starting tight end Kevin Boss earlier this offseason as part of its effort to get underneath the salary cap. 

Oakland finished 8-8 in 2011 but will not pick until the compensatory portion of the third round in the NFL Draft, having traded their first and second round picks and exercised their third rounder on Terrelle Pryor in last year's supplemental draft. 

Read more Oakland Raiders news on BleacherReport.com


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