Raiders Re-Sign Veteran TE, Place Free Agent Signee on Reserve List

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Getty Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden.

The Las Vegas Raiders can’t help but keep making moves at tight end. The team announced on Thursday that they are re-signing Paul Butler after letting him go just a few weeks ago.

In a corresponding move, the team placed Nick O’Leary on the reserved/non-football injury list. He was signed by the Raiders this offseason, but it appears he’d suffered an injury or that the team no longer has plans for him.

Butler has been on and off the roster a few times over the last couple of years. He had a stint with the Detroit Lions last year, but it looks like the silver and black are planning on giving him another shot.

Raiders Are Pretty Set at Tight End

It’s not going to be easy to make the Raiders as a tight end this offseason. The team is set at the top with Darren Waller, Jason Witten and Foster Moreau. They will probably keep a fourth player at the position, but Derek Carrier is the likely favorite to keep that job. Butler will get another chance, but he’s already been beaten out by Carrier before.

That’s not to mention undrafted free agent Nick Bowers. It’s hard to know what exactly they have in him, but the team has had good luck with undrafted free agents in the past. He’s going to have to make a major impression to have any chance of getting a spot on the roster. The Raiders will likely keep at least one tight end on the practice squad.

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Waller Is Excited to Play With Witten

Tight end was one of the strongest position groups for the Raiders in 2019. Despite that fact, the team decided to add one of the greatest tight ends of all-time in Jason Witten. While he’s almost 40 and doesn’t fit a need, some of the younger Raiders are really excited to play with the future Hall of Famer.

“I thought it was awesome,” Waller said, per Vic Tafur of The Athletic. “He is a great example of longevity and doing it the right way. His technique and his mental approach to the game kept him at the top and is going to put him in the Hall of Fame, so to have him in your room and be able to learn from him is priceless.”

Witten’s days as an elite player are behind him, but the young Raider tight ends can learn a lot from him.

“There are things that caught me off guard watching him,” Waller said. “He looks fast because he is great getting off the ball right at the snap, like no one I have ever seen — he will be ahead of wide receivers. So I am watching and thinking, ‘I didn’t know Jason Witten was that fast,’ but it’s that get-off and there are a lot of small details to his game that are just incredible.”

Witten will bring a lot of leadership to a young offense and proved last year that he’s still capable of putting up some decent numbers.

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