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Raiders sign 4 defenders in free agency

  • This 2012 file photo shows Mike Jenkins of the Dallas Cowboys NFL football team. The Oakland Raiders have signed cornerback Mike Jenkins to a free-agent contract. General manager Reggie McKenzie announced the deal Tuesday, April 9, 2013. (AP Photo/File)

ALAMEDA — Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie is looking for better luck this season with his free-agent cornerback additions.

The Raiders signed Mike Jenkins on Tuesday to team with the recently added Tracy Porter to add experience to an untested secondary. Oakland also signed free agent safety Usama Young and brought back free agent defensive end Andre Carter and cornerback Joselio Hanson for their second seasons with the team.

Before these latest additions of former starters in the NFL, the other cornerbacks on the Raiders roster had combined for four career starts.

Last offseason, McKenzie gave one-year contracts to a pair of veteran cornerbacks coming off injuries in Ron Bartell and Shawntae Spencer and neither one finished the season on the active roster.

Bartell broke his left shoulder blade in the season opener and missed the next seven games. After starting five games when he returned, Bartell was cut last December when the Raiders wanted to look at younger cornerbacks.

Spencer played two games before being sidelined by a season-ending sprained right foot.

With the decision to cut Michael Huff last month, the only cornerbacks on the roster until last week were Phillip Adams, Chimdi Chekwa, Brandian Ross, Cory Nelms and converted running back Taiwan Jones.

Jenkins entered the league in 2008 as a first-round pick out of South Florida. He emerged as one of the league's best cornerbacks in his second year when he had the five interceptions, 19 passes defensed, held opposing receivers to catches on less than half the balls thrown his direction and made the Pro Bowl.

But since then, Jenkins struggled in coverage and eventually lost his starting job with the Cowboys. Over the past three seasons, Jenkins has allowed quarterbacks to complete 61.8 percent of their passes thrown his direction with 11 touchdowns for a passer rating of 108.4, according to Pro Football Focus.

Hanson started off as a nickel back in Oakland but ended up starting five games and being on the field for more than half the snaps last season. The team did not announce the signing but Hanson's agent, Jeff Nalley, confirmed that his client was returning to Oakland.

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