When it comes to signing draft picks, the Oakland Raiders move at Usain Bolt speed (JaMarcus Russell not withstanding). Late Wednesday night the team reached a contractual agreement with top pick Rolando McClain. Terms of the deal were not immediately announced but you’d better believe general managers everywhere breathlessly await the specifics of the contract.
It is not known whether or nor McClain will make it to Napa in time for the morning session on Thursday but he is expected to be in attendance at some point today.
The Raiders now have all 9 draftees under contract as the first practice of training camp begins.
McClain is expected to step in and immediately help to improve the woeful run defense that has plagued the Raiders over the last seven years. The Raiders were so confident in the middle linebacker from Alabama that incumbent starter and hometown hero Kirk Morrison was traded after the team selected McClain.
McClain is just the third player taken in the first round to sign a contract and as the 8th overall pick he is the highest drafted player to reach an agreement.
Update: ESPN reports McClain’s deal to be a 5-year contract valued at $40-million with $23-million guaranteed. By getting the deal done in time, Rolando was able to fully participate in the first day of practice, missing only the opening day of meetings.