Raiders re-sign all their exclusive rights free agents

The Raiders have all of their exclusive rights free agents under contract for the 2018 season.

Word had already gotten out that they re-signed kicker Giorgio Tavecchio and linebacker Shilique Calhoun, but the team made those signings official along with the returns of defensive end/linebacker James Cowser, safety Erik Harris and offensive lineman Denver Kirkland on Monday.

Tavecchio was 16-of-21 on field goals and 33-of-34 on extra points in his first year as the Raiders kicker. Sebastian Janikowski‘s departure this offseason leaves him on track for a second year in the job. Calhoun has played in 19 games since being taken in the third round of the 2016 draft.

Cowser had 23 tackles and a forced fumble while playing in all 16 games last season. Harris had five tackles in 15 appearances and Kirkland didn’t see any action last season while on injured reserve. He made four starts as a rookie in 2016.

We’re as good as we can get. We’ve got a lot of guys that have really progressed. We all have been frustrated because we wanted to pick up where we left off last year, and that didn’t happen for all the reasons we know. But life goes on. I think under the circumstances, they’ve done a wonderful job of being in this position. Hopefully we’ll finish it the right way.”

Matt Ryan expressed the same gratitude.

“Like any parent, obviously you want everything to go well,” he told ESPN on Monday at a celebrity golf event for charity. “We’re not alone in having gone through this. I know other families, parents, children go through things like this all the time. You just want things to shake out well, and we’re fortunate that they did. Obviously your mind really never leaves there because that’s the most important thing in your life — your family.”

Ryan missed the Jan. 9 practice leading into his team’s divisional playoff matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles to be by his wife’s side. Despite the circumstances, Ryan said he was able to focus upon returning to the team. The Falcons lost that weekend’s game against the eventual Super Bowl champions by a score of 15-10.

“It was one of those things, my mind was there,” Ryan said of not letting the situation weigh him down. “Even in the week we were playing in the playoffs, it was there. I felt like I was really well prepared for that game and played well.

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