Raiders sign Safety Usama Young, 3 other defenders
Prior to these signings of former starters, the Oakland Raiders greatly lacked experience at cornerback with the remaining players on the roster at the position combining for only four career starts.
Until last week, the only cornerbacks remaining on the Oakland Raiders’ roster were Phillip Adams, Cory Nelms, Brandian Ross, Chimdi Chekwa and Taiwan Jones, who was recently moved to the position from running back.
Last season, the Oakland Raiders added veteran cornerbacks Ron Bartell and Shawntae Spencer to the roster by signing them on to one-year deal. But neither of them ended the season on the active roster.
Ron Bartell fractured his left shoulder blade in the season opener and was sidelined for the next seven games. The 31-year-old Ron Bartell returned in Week 10 to start five games in the late in the regular season, but he was cut by the Oakland Raiders with the team expected to look younger at cornerback next season.
Shawntae Spencer appeared in just two games for the Oakland Raiders last season, before he was ruled out for the rest of the 2012 campaign with a sprained right foot.
The Oakland Raiders made it a priority to rebuild the defense this offseason, after the unit allowed the fifth-most points in the NFL during 2012. Only three starters from last season are returning to the unit in 2013.
The 28-year-old Mike Jenkins spent his entire career with the Dallas Cowboys, after they selected him in the first-round pick of the 2008 NFL draft out of South Florida. Mike Jenkins quickly emerged as one of the league’s top cornerbacks in his second season. But lately Mike Jenkins has struggled in coverage and lost his starting cornerback job with the Dallas Cowboys last season.
Joselio Hanson joined the Oakland Raiders last year after being released in the final roster cuts by the Philadelphia Eagles ahead of the 2012 season. The 31-year-old Joselio Hanson started five games last season, predominately playing in the slot for the Oakland Raiders.
Meanwhile, Usama Young could get the start opposite Tyvon Branch at safety, since Branch is currently the only other experienced starting safety on the Oakland Raiders’ roster. Usama Young spent the last two season with the Cleveland Browns, after joining the New Orleans Saints for his first four seasons in the league as a third-round pick in 2007. He also spent time with current Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen in New Orleans, while he was a secondary coach back then. The six-year veteran Usama Young has seven interceptions and 22 passes defensed in 81 games.
Returning defensive end Andre Carter spent last season in Oakland in a reserve role, while playing 12 games and recording 2 ½ sacks. He also spilt time with the New England Patriots, Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ers during his 12-year NFL career.