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Former Raiders top pick flop DJ Hayden cashes in with Jaguars

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Jacksonville Jaguars v Oakland Raiders Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

What a nutty free agency this has been. The latest bit of craziness involves Reggie McKenzie’s first ever top pick as Raiders GM. DJ Hayden, who was allowed to leave as a free agent last year, signing a one-year deal with the Lions, has somehow cashed in with the Jaguars.

That’s a 3-year deal with the Jaguars worth as much as $7 million per season and $9.5 million guaranteed. He has started a combined 3 games the past two seasons.

Hayden was selected by the Raiders at 12 overall in the 2013 draft. Injuries had him appearing in just 18 games over his first two seasons and after year three the team declined to pick up his 5th-year option allowing him to leave as a free agent last year.

This deal is not dissimilar to the one Menelik Watson received in Denver last offseason. Watson was the pick the Raiders took in the second round of the same draft and who had an even more injury plagued 4-year career in Oakland only to sign a 3-year, $19 million free agent deal with the Broncos. Then he was giving up sacks in bunches last season, appearing in just 7 games.

Free Agency is a crazy thing.