By most accounts, Reggie Nelson was the top remaining free agent unsigned. The Raiders had filled several major needs, but the one major need still remaining was safety. Those two facts made Nelson's trip to Oakland for a visit a no-brainer. After spending Monday night at dinner with Ken Norton Jr and Marcus Robertson, he was at the Raiders facility Tuesday but left unsigned. Today Nelson has agreed to a 2-year deal with the Raiders according to multiple reports.
Nelson stayed on the market for nearly a month despite leading the NFL with 8 interceptions last season. The likely reason for his prolonged free agent status was the fact that he will turn 33 in September.
Del Rio is familiar with Nelson. He was the head coach of the Jaguars when they selected Nelson in the first round out of Florida in the 2007 draft. Nelson spent three seasons under Del Rio in Jacksonville and the past six seasons as the everyday starting safety for the Bengals.
His numbers have been extremely consistent over much of his career, averaging 3.3 interceptions, 9 passes defended and 72 tackles per season while missing just 6 games in nine years with the Jaguars and Bengals.
Nelson has played free safety most of his career. He joins Nate Allen as the current projected starting safeties.