Raiders Sign James Jones as Reggie McKenzie Rebounds from Rocky Start

The start of free agency was rocky for the Oakland Raiders and general manager Reggie McKenzie. The team’s best two players, defensive end Lamarr Houston and left tackle Jared Veldheer signed elsewhere. The team voided the agreement with offensive lineman Rodger Saffold due to a failed physical, their big free-agent get at the time.

Solid signings like pass-rushers Justin Tuck and LaMarr Woodley started McKenzie’s rebound from a poor start, but the debacle with Saffold continued to hang over his head. The Raiders had more than enough money to make waves early in free agency, but they are scooping up more affordable talent after all the silly spending has subsided instead.

By signing wide receiver James Jones to a three-year, $11.3 million deal on Monday, as first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, McKenzie has put together a collection of talented players with plenty of tread left on their tires. McKenzie still has a lot of work to do, but it’s safe to say he’s put together a nice offseason so far. If he can find a way to fill a hole at left tackle, McKenzie can put the slow start behind him for good.

Jones may not be a No. 1 receiver, but he’s a solid No. 2 option and a high-character person. According to Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle, Jones was homeless for a time growing up in San Jose, Calif., and does a lot of volunteer work for shelters there as well as in Green Bay, Wis.

Jones is the type of player who can help head coach Dennis Allen in the locker room. He can also aid in the development of young receivers, of which the Raiders have many. The Raiders may rely on Jones to mentor Denarius Moore, Brice Butler, Juron Criner, Andre Holmes and Rod Streater.

Having more quality receivers for whichever quarterbacks McKenzie brings in will also be vital for the Raiders in 2014. For that reason, the signing of Jones also doesn’t rule out the Raiders u...

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