Oakland Raiders Sign Offensive Lineman Kelechi Osemele

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have signed unrestricted free agent OL Kelechi Osemele (kah-LETCH-ee oh-SEM-uh-lee), the club announced Thursday.

 Osemele joins the Raiders after four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, where he played in and started 51 games. Originally selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the second round (60th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft, Osemele made starts at right tackle, left guard and left tackle over his first four seasons in the league.

 Last season, the 6-foot-5, 330-pounder started 14 games (10 at left guard and four at left tackle) for an offensive unit that allowed the third fewest sacks in the NFL (24) and produced a single-single season franchise record for net passing yards (4,271). He started 21 games at left guard from 2013-14, helping Baltimore set franchise records for yards (5,838) and points scored (409) in 2014.

 As a rookie in 2012, Osemele started all 16 regular season games at right tackle before moving to left guard for Baltimore’s four postseason games. In helping the team win Super Bowl XLVII, Osemele helped pave the way for the offense to amass 410.3 yards per game in the postseason.

 A native of Houston, Texas, Osemele played in 49 games over four seasons at Iowa State, including 43 consecutive starts to close out his collegiate career. He was an All-Big 12 Conference First Team selection and co-captain as a senior after starting 13 games at left tackle.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats, San Francisco Giant Extend Affiliation

Photo by Shawn Jonas

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA –The Sacramento River Cats and San Francisco Giants have announced an extension of their Player Development Contract (PDC). The extension is for four years, keeping the Giants’ Triple-A affiliate in Sacramento through the 2020 season.

River Cats General Manager Chip Maxson will make the official announcement at today’s Preseason Party at 12:30 p.m. in front of loyal fans at Raley Field.

“I’m extremely excited to share that we are officially extending our Player Development Contract with the San Francisco Giants,” says Maxson. “Our first year together was an incredible success, both on and off the field, and we’re proud to share that our dynamic partnership with the San Francisco Giants will continue well into the future.”

The Giants originally entered into a two-year PDC agreement with the River Cats in September of 2014. With this extension, the two teams will remain affiliated through the 2020 season.

“Sacramento has proved to be an incredibly important affiliate for us. The proximity to San Francisco, the loyal fan-base in the Sacramento-region, and the passion of the ownership and front office has been nothing short of spectacular,” said Giants CEO and President Larry Baer. “The future is bright for our relationship with the River Cats organization.”

San Francisco’s General Manager, Bobby Evans, echoed Baer. “The communication between our clubs is very strong and we seemed to fall in step with each other immediately. They has gone above and beyond to provide our players with an excellent place to play.”

Despite entering just their second season as the Giants’ Triple-A affiliate, the River Cats have already seen their fair share of players entering into the Major Leagues. Trevor Brown, Josh Osich, Kelby Tomlinson, and Jarrett Parker headlined a group of nearly fifteen players who put in time with both the River Cats and Giants. Conversely, a number of Giants made their River Cats debut in 2015 on rehab assignments, including Hunter Pence, Matt Cain, Joe Panik, and more.

Sacramento is one of San Francisco’s five domestic minor league affiliates, joining Double-A Richmond (Eastern League), Advanced-A San Jose (California League), Class A Augusta (South Atlantic League) and Short-Season A Salem-Keizer (Northwest League).

Press Release Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Sign Mexican Defender Carlos Rodriguez

19-year old defender joins Republic FC from the CESIFUT Academy

SACRAMENTO, Calif.  – Sacramento Republic FC have agreed to a contract with defender Carlos Rodriguez for the 2016 USL season. Rodriguez joins Republic FC from Mexican developmental academy, CESIFUT.

“The center back position is very important, and I now feel that area is filled with four confident center backs,” said Technical Director and Head Coach Paul Buckle. “Carlos impressed us when Graham and I visited CESIFUT Academy back in November, and again when we invited him to our training camp in Mexico. This young lad has all the tools and I believe he will be a top class center back.”

Rodriguez was first identified as a potential signing by Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle and Director of Football Graham Smith when the pair traveled to Mexico during the offseason. Rodriguez then went on trial with Republic FC during their training camp in Mexico from Feb. 5-11 before being signed to the club.

The CESIFUT Academy is an independent academy in Mexico that trains players from a young age in hopes of preparing the players for play at the professional and international level. Rodriguez has been a member of the academy since age 12.

Rodriguez will join the club immediately and be available to play in the club’s preseason friendlies. Republic FC travel to face the Fresno Fuego on Thursday, Mar. 3 at Chukchansi Park in Fresno, Calif. Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale at FresnoFuego.com.

Press Release Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations