Raiders Sign NCAA Record Holder, Release Defensive End

Sharif Finch

Getty Sharif Finch chasing Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott.

The Las Vegas Raiders can’t seem to make up their mind on their defensive line as they’ve made several moves since the start of training camp. At the top, the unit looks the same but the depth of the defensive line has changed a lot. The team announced on Tuesday that they’ve signed former Tennessee Titans defensive end Sharif Finch.

Finch came into the NFL as an undrafted free agent and played in 23 games for the Titans over the last two seasons. In order to make room for him, the Raiders had to waive defensive end Ade Aruna. That’s the second time he’s been let go by the team since training camp started. Given the fact that he’s already bounced on and off the roster a couple of times, it’s always possible he gets another shot with Las Vegas.

Finch Is NCAA Leader in Punt Blocks

Finch isn’t a big name and he’s notched 3.5 sacks in his two seasons. However, he could be an asset on special teams if he makes the squad. According to, Finch is the NCAA’s all-time leader in career punt blocks with five. Las Vegas doesn’t get a lot of those so that could be a spark for the special teams.

The Raiders have been trying out a lot of different veterans for their defense but it seems they are only interested in depth. As of now, most of the starting jobs seem all but locked up at this point.

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Mike Mayock Talks Roster Moves

Ever since the Raiders hired Mike Mayock as general manager, he’s made it a point to keep himself busy with roster moves. He thinks it’s important to constantly be trying to upgrade the roster.

“I saw a quote from Jerry Jones, they’re in the business of personnel 365 days a year,” Mayock said Tuesday. “That’s the way I think you approach it from the personnel side. We’ve had a lot of transactions from the time I’ve been here and we’re going to evaluate every day. If we think we can upgrade a position, we’re going to do it. That’s Jon’s attitude and it’s my attitude.”

It’s important to keep an open mind about the roster and Mayock has certainly done that. Though he is still young in the job, he’s done a very good job of helping build the Raiders’ roster. Last year, the team seriously lacked strong depth and it hurt them once the injuries started to pile up. It’s clear that Mayock doesn’t want that to be the case this year. The Raiders aren’t just a better team at the top of the roster but their depth has also greatly improved.

With less than a month before the season starts, don’t be surprised if the team keeps making a lot of moves on the roster. Keep in mind, a lot of the players getting signed this late in the game are likely training camp bodies who will get cut when the final roster is due.

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Follow Austin Boyd on Twitter: @austincjboyd

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