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Raiders place exclusive rights tender on OLB Shilique Calhoun

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NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Oakland Raiders Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Today the Raiders took steps to keep one of their recent draft picks in the fold.

The tender will keep Calhoun in Oakland for the next season as a way of keeping the restricted free agent from negotiating with other teams. But that, of course, begs the question. Why?

Calhoun was a third-round pick in 2016 and has done basically nothing as a Raider. But there’s a lot of talent there, and if ever there was a player who was mishandled by Ken Norton Jr. and the Raiders’ brainless-trust, it may have been him.

Calhoun at Michigan State was a down lineman defensive end, and on the Raiders he was an outside linebacker tasked with covering backs, tight ends and receivers. This was most definitely not within his skillset, and the results- like everything else Norton touched- were predictably awful. Calhoun has 17 total tackles and a half sack in 19 games as a Raider.

But now new Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther gets to work with Calhoun for a full season. If Guenther can unlock Calhoun’s potential, he might be worth another contract. If not, he’ll be sent on his way in 2019 when this tender expires. While Calhoun may be one of the last guys you’d think the Raiders would want to bring back, the reality is this is a low-risk, high-reward move for the team.