Raiders sign free agent TE Kevin Boss

Free agent tight end Kevin Boss signed a $16 million, four-year

contract with the Raiders on Friday.

The deal includes $8 million in guarantees.

Oakland had been looking for a tight end ever since Pro Bowler

Zach Miller spurned the team that drafted him and instead signed

with the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday.

Boss, who caught 119 passes with 18 touchdowns in four seasons

with the New York Giants, gives the Raiders a 6-foot-6, 235-pound

downfield target. He also won a Super Bowl ring with New York in

his rookie season.

”He’s smooth,” said quarterback Jason Campbell, who played

against Boss’ Giants teams while Campbell was with the Washington

Redskins. ”He has a lot of experience. We understand he knows what

it takes to get to the next level, and what it’s going to take for

us to get to the next level this year.”

The Raiders brought in Boss for a workout Wednesday and signed

him after restructuring contracts to get under the salary cap. He

did not join the team at its training camp facilities on Friday but

coach Hue Jackson expects Boss to be on the field soon.

”I expect to get him here as soon as we can,” Jackson said.

”We’ve got work to do. There are quite a few things in our

offensive system that a young man needs to do and he showed those

characteristics on video tape.”

Miller led the Raiders in receptions each of the past three

seasons and was the team’s player rep during the labor dispute. He

expected to return to Oakland but was wooed to Seattle by former

Raiders coach Tom Cable, who is the Seahawks assistant head coach

and offensive line coach.

Boss had 35 catches for 531 yards and five touchdowns last

season for the Giants. He got his shot as a rookie in 2007 after

Jeremy Shockey got injured and helped the Giants win the Super


While Boss is the front-runner to replace Miller, the Raiders

have holdover Brandon Myers and Kevin Brock on the roster as well.

Jackson also lauded the efforts in practice of rookie tight ends

David Ausberry and Richard Gordon.

Ausberry, one of Oakland’s two seventh-round draft picks this

year, made the day’s best play in camp Friday when he hauled in a

deep throw from quarterback Trent Edwards, turning around backward

to catch the ball before falling to the turf and hitting his head

hard on the ground.

”Our young guys are just battling every day and they just keep

growing and getting better,” Jackson said. ”I think the sky’s the

limit at that position.”

Campbell injured his groin in practice Thursday but Jackson said

he was giving his quarterback a much-needed day off to rest his

throwing arm.

”I’ve been making a lot of throws and everything so coach just

wanted to give me the opportunity to rest my arm since it’s been

kind of sore,” Campbell said. ”We just wanted to be smart and not

do anything crazy trying to overthrow. Just rest the shoulder for a

day and come back.”

Notes: WR Derrick Jones has been diagnosed with a torn Achilles

tendon he suffered in practice Thursday. … C Samson Satele took

reps with the first-team offense for part of practice. Jackson

previously declared Stefen Wisniewski the starter when the Raiders

drafted him in the second round this year but backed off. ”You

have to earn your way up here,” Jackson said. ”We’re not just

giving anybody anything.”