With OTAs wrapping up tomorrow and training camp a little more than a month away, the 2023 Las Vegas Raiders are starting to take form as the team announced the signing of tight end and second-round pick out of Notre Dame, Michael Mayer.
Mayer inking his deal means the Raiders have eight out of their nine draft picks under contract as Maryland cornerback Jakorian Bennett is the only unsigned rookie. The bulk of the team’s picks signed about a month ago or just a couple of weeks after the draft, and now the first straggler is ready to go for camp. I’d expect Bennett’s signing to come shortly as the team’s brass can focus all of their attention on him.
The former Fighting Irishman will have a good chance to start as a rookie. He’ll enter training camp in a battle with veteran free-agent signings Austin Hooper and OJ Howard, both of whom are on relatively cheap one-year contracts.
Meanwhile, Mayer was widely considered a steal in the second round of the draft and left Notre Dame, which has a rich history at the position, as the school's all-time leader among tight ends in every major statistical category. He finished with 180 career catches for 2,099 and 18 touchdowns in 36 games/three seasons.
The details of the contract are not known at this time but Spotrac.com is projecting the second-rounder to receive a four-year, roughly $9.3 million deal with about a $3.77 million signing bonus. He’s also the highest-drafted Day 2 pick to put ink to paper as cornerback Joey Porter Jr., quarterback Will Levis and fellow tight end Sam LaPorta are still unsigned.
It’s also worth noting that tight end Luke Musgrave—the 42nd overall selection—hasn’t reached an agreement with the Green Bay Packers yet. That, combined with LaPorta’s status, likely explains the hold-up as the three players play the same position and were drafted near each other. So the clubs and agents were likely playing a game of “Who signs first?” to get a measuring stick to base their contracts off of.
Silver and Black Pride will continue to monitor this story and provide an update when the details of Mayer’s contract are known.