WEDNESDAY, 4:09pm: The Raiders have officially signed Hudson, the team announced today (via Twitter). The five-year, $44.5MM pact includes a $6.9MM roster bonus for 2015 and a little less than $13MM in fully guaranteed money, per Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link) and Tom Pelissero of USA Today (Twitter links).
MONDAY, 7:50am: After missing out on a handful of top targets this weekend, including Ndamukong Suh, Randall Cobb, and Jerry Hughes, the Raiders are on the board. According to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (via Twitter), the team has agreed to terms with Rodney Hudson. The Chiefs center is expected to sign a five-year, $44.5MM contract with Oakland once the free agent period begins on Tuesday.
We’ll have to wait for the specifics on Hudson’s contract to know for sure, but if the base value is indeed $44.5MM, that would put the average annual value at $8.9MM, making the 25-year-old the highest-paid center in the league.
Hudson, a former second-round pick, has been the Chiefs’ full-time starter at center for the last two seasons. In 2014, Hudson ranked as the third-best center in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required), grading as an above-average run blocker and pass blocker — he even led all centers in PFF’s screen-blocking grade.
As recently as Saturday, we heard that the Chiefs were making a push to re-sign Hudson, but after the four-year veteran turned down a $6MM-per-year offer from Kansas City during the season, his asking price was believed to be up to $8MM+ at that point. That likely made it tricky for the Chiefs to work something out, since the team is already right up against the cap even before it finalizes its agreement with wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.
In Oakland, Hudson is expected to take over the starting center job vacated by Stefen Wisniewski, who will officially become a free agent and sign elsewhere tomorrow. As for the Chiefs, Eric Kush looks like the logical in-house option to replace Hudson in the middle of the offensive line, though it’s possible that the team will address the position in free agency or the draft.
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