The Las Vegas Raiders made a large financial statement about the future of their center position by signing Andre James to a contract extension, according to NFL Media.
The #Raiders agreed to terms with center of the future Andre James on a 3-year contract worth $12.5M, source said. He gets about $6M guaranteed. He had 1 year left, then was an RFA. Now, under contract through 2023. After LV traded Rodney Hudson, James cashes in.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 22, 2021
That is a hefty contract for a player who didn’t play any offensive snaps in 2020 and has played one game of center in the NFL. Yet, the Raiders clearly believe in James as they move on from the Rodney Hudson era.
Last week — in the most surprising move by Las Vegas this offseason — the Raiders traded Hudson and a 2021 seventh-round pick to the Arizona Cardinals for a 2021 third-round pick. Hudson is considered an elite player, but the Raiders decided to move on.
The Raiders also signed former Houston Texans starting center Nick Martin last week to compete with James. However, this contract extension shows the Raiders believe in James and he is the favorite to snap to Derek Carr this season.
The play at center this season could determine just how effective the Las Vegas offense can be and it appears James will be the player who starts the engine for the Raiders.