The Las Vegas Raiders raised eyebrows with their decision to rebuild nearly their entire offensive line this offseason.
Of all the moves, parting ways with center Rodney Hudson was perhaps the biggest head-scratcher given his status as the anchor of this group over the years. Hudson’s departure clearly left a rather notable void for the Raiders to fill ahead of the 2021 NFL season.
With the team in the midst of making cost-cutting moves, there was plenty of speculation regarding potential contingency plans. Fortunately, it appears they did not have to look very far for Hudson’s replacement.
According to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, the Raiders have agreed to terms on a 3-year contract, $12.5 million.
The #Raiders agreed to terms with center of the future Andre James on a 3-year contract worth $12.5M, source said. He gets about $6M guaranteed. He had 1 year left, then was an RFA. Now, under contract through 2023. After LV traded Rodney Hudson, James cashes in.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 22, 2021
There is no question that James has some big shoes to fill given the three Pro Bowls that Hudson racked up during his time with the Raiders. The vote of confidence from head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock show that they are optimistic that he is more than ready for the job.
Las Vegas already got a head start on shoring up some depth at the position by signing former Houston Texans center Nick Martin. Although they are not ready to hand the starting job over to James just yet, the extension indicates that he is expected to take over up front this offseason.
The Raiders now seemingly have the interior of their offensive line intact after re-signing Denzelle Good and Richie Incognito. The only question now is who takes over the tackle spot opposite of Kolton Miller.
Although Good has proven to be versatile enough to play tackle when needed, he is best when utilized at left guard. It will be interesting to see if Las Vegas opts to go with a more veteran option in free agency or a new face in the 2021 NFL Draft.