By Ryan Leong
The Raiders continue to make changes to their roster.
The newest edition is one time 49ers first round draft pick Andre Carter. The free agent defensive end was signed on Wednesday in hopes of bolstering their pass rush which has only three sacks in three games.
Carter has 76 sacks over 11 seasons and ranks eighth among active players in the NFL. He has reached 10 or more sacks in a season four times, including a career-high 12.5 with San Francisco in 2002. Last year, with the Patriots, he had 10 sacks and made the Pro Bowl for the first time, but he suffered a season-ending torn quadriceps in a Dec. 18 game at Denver that required surgery.
Carter’s wife attended that game and ran into the locker room. After asking him some basic questions she got to the point when she asked him, “What do you want to do?”
Carter said he never considered retiring but admits rehab was not easy. He worked out six days a week for two-to-three hours a day. He said the dedication paid off Wednesday when the Raiders called.
Carter worked out for the Raiders during training camp and again after the season began. He said he was healthy enough to play in camp, but the Raiders weren’t ready to offer him a contract. He also worked out for the Rams and Cardinals.
The Raiders announced Carter’s signing long after Coach Dennis Allen finished his postpractice media session so he was not available to comment on the move.
Oakland also waived tackle Joe Barksdale, who was carrying some of his belongings as he was leaving the facility 20 minutes into practice.
Barksdale had fallen behind Willie Smith and rookie Tony Bergstrom on the depth chart. He is the third member of the Raiders’ 2011 draft class to be cut this season, following cornerback Chimdi Chekwa, a fourth-round pick from Ohio State, and DeMarcus Van Dyke, a third-rounder from Miami. Chekwa was signed to the practice squad. Van Dyke was signed by the Steelers.
The Raiders traded a 2012 second-round draft pick to New England for third- and fourth-round picks in 2011 that they used for Barksdale and running back Taiwan Jones. Now Barksdale is gone, and Jones has fallen to third string at running back and second string at kick returner.
Just days after starting wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey was knocked unconscious in a vicious helmet-to-helmet collision in the end zone with Steelers safety Ryan Mundy, the Raiders signed free agent wide receiver Tori Gurley to the practice squad.
Following the collision, Heyward-Bey suffered a concussion and strained neck and spent Sunday night in a hospital. He was released on Monday but has been ruled out to play in the team’s upcoming game at Denver.
The 6′ 4″, 232-lb Gurley was cut by Green Bay on Aug. 31 then signed to Minnesota’s practice squad but was later waived.
Gurley becomes the third player who was in Green Bay during the tenure of current Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie to sign with the Silver and Black either to the 53-man roster or the practice squad. Last week, the Raiders signed cornerback Brandian Ross from the Packers practice squad. On Tuesday, they signed former Packers linebacker Vic So’oto.
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Ryan Leong has reported on over 2,800 games in the Bay Area since 1998, covering the Sharks, Giants, A’s, Warriors, 49ers, Raiders and the local college teams for radio networks and wire services. Having the best seat in the house to watch sports has been a thrill and Ryan still enjoys going to the games giving fans some insight and perspective on the players and coaches. His work can be found on Examiner.com.