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Raiders sign free agent TE Kevin Boss
NAPA, CALIF. (AP) - Free agent tight end Kevin Boss signed a $16 million, four-year contract with the Raiders on Friday.
The deal includes $8 million in guarantees.
Oakland had been looking for a tight end ever since Pro Bowler Zach Miller spurned the team that drafted him and instead signed with the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday.
Boss, who caught 119 passes with 18 touchdowns in four seasons with the New York Giants, gives the Raiders a 6-foot-6, 235-pound downfield target. He also won a Super Bowl ring with New York in his rookie season.
"He's smooth," said quarterback Jason Campbell, who played against Boss' Giants teams while Campbell was with the Washington Redskins. "He has a lot of experience. We understand he knows what it takes to get to the next level, and what it's going to take for us to get to the next level this year."
The Raiders brought in Boss for a workout Wednesday and signed him after restructuring contracts to get under the salary cap. He did not join the team at its training camp facilities on Friday but coach Hue Jackson expects Boss to be on the field soon.
"I expect to get him here as soon as we can," Jackson said. "We've got work to do. There are quite a few things in our offensive system that a young man needs to do and he showed those characteristics on video tape."
Miller led the Raiders in receptions each of the past three seasons and was the team's player rep during the labor dispute. He expected to return to Oakland but was wooed to Seattle by former Raiders coach Tom Cable, who is the Seahawks assistant head coach and offensive line coach.
Boss had 35 catches for 531 yards and five touchdowns last season for the Giants. He got his shot as a rookie in 2007 after Jeremy Shockey got injured and helped the Giants win the Super Bowl.
While Boss is the front-runner to replace Miller, the Raiders have holdover Brandon Myers and Kevin Brock on the roster as well. Jackson also lauded the efforts in practice of rookie tight ends David Ausberry and Richard Gordon.
Ausberry, one of Oakland's two seventh-round draft picks this year, made the day's best play in camp Friday when he hauled in a deep throw from quarterback Trent Edwards, turning around backward to catch the ball before falling to the turf and hitting his head hard on the ground.
"Our young guys are just battling every day and they just keep growing and getting better," Jackson said. "I think the sky's the limit at that position."
Campbell injured his groin in practice Thursday but Jackson said he was giving his quarterback a much-needed day off to rest his throwing arm.
"I've been making a lot of throws and everything so coach just wanted to give me the opportunity to rest my arm since it's been kind of sore," Campbell said. "We just wanted to be smart and not do anything crazy trying to overthrow. Just rest the shoulder for a day and come back."
Notes: WR Derrick Jones has been diagnosed with a torn Achilles tendon he suffered in practice Thursday. ... C Samson Satele took reps with the first-team offense for part of practice. Jackson previously declared Stefen Wisniewski the starter when the Raiders drafted him in the second round this year but backed off. "You have to earn your way up here," Jackson said. "We're not just giving anybody anything."
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