We are now at six Raiders unrestricted free agents who have signed with other teams. On the same day that 2013 first round pick DJ Hayden signed with the Lions, the man who was selected in the second round of the same draft signs with the division rival Broncos. It is a reported 3-year, $18.3 million deal.
Former Raiders OT Menelik Watson reached agreement with the Denver Broncos, per sources. Staying in division, defecting to rival.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 10, 2017
The #Broncos signed #Raiders OT Menelik Watson to a 3-year deal worth $18.3M, source said.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 10, 2017
Watson was originally drafted with the pick acquired from the Dolphins when the Raiders traded down from the third overall pick to 12 overall to select Hayden. A deal that turned out to be a wash for everyone involved, it would seem, due to Dion Jordan, who the Dolphins selected with that pick who has had issues with substance abuse and knee injuries that have had him out since the 2014 season.
Watson has had more than his share of injuries. He missed all but five games of his rookie season, the entire 2015 season, and has never played a full season in four years in Oakland.
Those injury issues make him a risk for any kind of long term deal. The Raiders were said to be attempting to bring him back, but most likely it would have been a one-year deal with a low base salary and heavy on incentives. Watson’s injuries have bitten the Raiders several times after he had won the starting job. The Broncos won that bidding war easily with their numbers.
You can keep up on all Raiders free agent movement in our tracker.