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Former Raiders DT Tommy Kelly signs with Patriots
- Updated: April 9, 2013
Former Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Tommy Kelly agreed to terms with the New England Patriots on a two-year deal, as reported by CBS Sports on Monday. No exact dollar figures were released, but speculation around media circles suggests that very little money, if any, was guaranteed to the once-dominant interior lineman.
It appears that Bill Belichick is at it again and this time, he’s trying to squeeze one more productive season out of a player whose production has slipped and not lived up to his massive contract. Kelly signed a seven-year, $50.5 million deal back when Al Davis was still the head honcho for the silver and black. The 32-year-old Kelly was released by the Raiders on March 27. He is expected to be a situational DT for the Patriots.
Kelly went undrafted in 2004 and for the most part, played very well during his stint in Oakland. He didn’t even miss a game until 2007. Current General Manager Reggie McKenzie feels Kelly had one of those “out-of-whack” contracts that doomed the Raiders for the better part of the last decade.
The DT’s 1 1/2 sacks last season may have sealed his fate with McKenzie, who has been cleaning house and trying to make the team competitive again. Linebacker Rolando McClain was also cut. These moves coupled with Carson Palmer‘s trade are definitely a step towards a brighter future for Raiders fans.
With Kelly now gone, the Raiders are showing their fans that they are trying to get better and be competitive in an AFC West that seemed to dominate off-season headlines with Denver acquiring Wes Welker, and Kansas City adding Dunta Robinson and Sean Smith.
The Raiders still have a lot of work to do to in order to regain their once lofty status among NFL franchises, but getting rid of bad contracts like Kelly’s is just one step in the right direction.
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