The Raiders have officially signed a whole slew of Exclusive Rights Free Agents, though it is not much of a shock because ERFA's rarely sign elsewhere. In fact, they can't sign elsewhere unless their respective teams fail to offer them contracts before the league deadline for them. It is a status that only happens for players whose contracts have expired within the first three years of them being in the league.
Those players that were signed are DE Denico Autry, TE Brian Leonhardt, OL Matt McCants, FB Jamize Olawale, and DB Neiko Thorpe. Each one of these players were expected to have contracts offered to them and are depth players with potential.
It is a relief that the Raiders did officially sign several of these guys because they were definitely shown to be key depth players. Neiko Thorpe showed his talents off more than once in the secondary last year, Matt McCants was thought of as a possible starter at one time last off-season, and Jamize Olawale is expected to have a larger role in Bill Musgrave's new offensive for the Raiders.
It is good to have these guys all officially signed now so that we didn't have to worry about the Raiders making a strange decision to not re-sign any of these guys. They all are players worthy of roster spots on this team or at the very least worthy of fighting for a roster spot this off-season. They also were signed just in time to allow them to participate in all of the OTA's which started yesterday.