March 11, 2015 2:05 PM PT
ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have signed unrestricted free agent C Rodney Hudson, the club announced Wednesday.
Hudson has started 31 games at center over the last two seasons for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Entering his fifth NFL season, Hudson has appeared in 51 games with 35 starts for Kansas City. He was originally selected by the Chiefs in the second round (55th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft. After playing in all 16 games as a rookie, Hudson started the first three games at left guard in 2012 before suffering a season-ending leg injury. He took over as the team’s starting center in 2013, helping Kansas City to back-to-back winning seasons from 2013-14.
The Mobile, Ala., native attended Florida State, appearing in 53 games with 50 starts at both guard and center. The 6-foot-2, 300-pounder earned All-ACC honors all four years and holds the conference’s career record for being named ACC Player of the Week nine times. He was also a two-time winner (2009-10) of the Jacobs Blocking Award, given to the player voted the most outstanding blocker in the ACC by a poll of head coaches and defensive coordinators.
Rodney Hudson signed a 5 year / $44,500,000 contract with the Oakland Raiders, including $20,000,000 guaranteed, and an annual average salary of $8,900,000.
Media Conference Call Q & A
Q: Can you describe how this all came together and were you surprised that the Raiders were in the mix so heavily?
Hudson: “It happened so fast. As the season was over and the months started to fly by, and here we are today. I can’t even really remember how fast it happened, but I’m excited and I’m excited for the opportunity.”
Q: What was it about the Raiders that attracted you to sign here?
Hudson: “This is a great franchise with great tradition. I know some guys that played for some of these coaches that are friends of mine and they had nothing but great things to say. I think we have a good opportunity to come in and do some stuff.”
Q: Did you get a chance to talk to Jack Del Rio yet, and if you have, any discussions on what he liked about your game and how he thought he would use you?
Hudson: “I talked to him briefly. He’s excited for the opportunity to work with me and same with me with him. We’re excited to get started and get to work.”
Q: Is the Raiders new no-huddle offense approach something that attracted you to this team?
Hudson: “I think so. I’m excited. I think it’s a good to have in the playbook and I’m excited to get in and start learning with the guys and from the coaches and get started.”
Q: What was the motivating factor behind your decision to leave Kansas City and come to Oakland?
Hudson: “There is not one thing in particular. I have nothing to say bad about Kansas City. I enjoyed my time there. I grew a lot as an individual and as a football player and I’m thankful for that. I have nothing bad to say. I think this is a great opportunity for me and I’m excited about it.”
Q: Was Kansas City’s initial offer lower than the Raiders or on par?
Hudson: “Out of respect to the situation, I really won’t go into specifics about that. I would prefer not to.”
Q: Are you excited about the role of a leader on and off the field and a role that you feel like you can fill pretty well?
Hudson: “Definitely. I think so. I think I need to be, personally, as a center. I think leadership comes with the position and I have to do that. I’ve had that role in previous years and I’m looking forward to it and looking forward to getting ready with the guys and start learning and getting after it.”
Q: What are the things that you like about Derek Carr?
Hudson: “I think playing in the same division as Oakland and watching him last year, we obviously played some of the same teams. We played some of the same teams that he had the chance to play. I think you notice just from watching that he’s a smart kid. You watch him direct things out there and you can tell that he knows what he’s doing and he’s a good player obviously.”
Q: Was this a difficult choice for you to come to the Raiders or were you going back and forth between a couple of different teams?
Hudson: “I think any time, in anything, you’ve been one place so long and you pick up and move, I think there is a little bit of difficulty in that. I remember how difficult it was to get up and go to college after being in one place for so long. But, I’m not really concerned about picking up and moving. I think it’s a good opportunity and I’m looking for it.”
Q: What do you think about going up against the Kansas City Chiefs twice a year now?
Hudson: “It will definitely be weird at first, but it will be fun. I think any time you’re blessed with the opportunity to go out there and compete against another team on Sundays, it’s obviously fun and I look forward to it.”
Q: What was that atmosphere like last year in the Thursday night game at the Coliseum?
Hudson: “Yeah, the fans there have always been awesome. Over the years playing there, that’s one thing that they talk about is the fans, they’re always loud and into the game and very passionate about it. The Thursday night game was great, that’s the kind of atmosphere you look forward to playing in. It was great.”
Q: With the Raiders at 11-37 over the last three years and not having a winning season since 2002, what did Coach Del Rio and Reggie McKenzie say to you to get you on board and think that you could be a part of turning this around?
Hudson: “I think as a group, any time things don’t go the way you want them or anything, you have to just get back to it and get to work. There is a lot of positive energy. These guys are excited, I’m excited. I met a few players, they’re very excited to get started. I think any time you have that good, positive energy around it is good. It’s something to feed off of, feed off each other and work towards the goal.”