Raiders sign WR Javon Walker, OT Kwame Harris

Updated: March 5, 2008, 9:56 PM ET
Associated Press

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders signed former Pro Bowl receiver Javon Walker and free agent offensive tackle Kwame Harris, adding two offensive players the team hopes will help quarterback JaMarcus Russell.

Walker will receive a $6 million signing bonus and $5 million in salary in each of the first two years. The six-year deal could be worth up to $55 million, a person familiar with the contract said on condition of anonymity because the terms were not released.

Harris is guaranteed $3 million in the first year of his deal that would pay him $16 million over three years, the person said.

The signings fill positions of need for the Raiders, who are trying to build their offense around Russell, the first overall pick in last year's draft.

Oakland also has renegotiated running back Dominic Rhodes' contract this week, securing his return for next season. Rhodes was due a $2 million roster bonus on Friday, but agreed to restructure his deal.

Rhodes signed as a free agent last year after helping Indianapolis win the Super Bowl. He was suspended for the first four games last season and played sparingly until Justin Fargas went down with a knee injury late in the year. Rhodes ran for 237 yards the last two games of the season and is expected to share the load with Fargas next season.

After losing receiver Jerry Porter to Jacksonville through free agency, the Raiders had only one wide receiver under contract with more than six career catches.

Walker was released by Denver last week after catching 26 passes for 287 yards and no touchdowns in eight games last season. He started the season with two 100-yard games before missing two months following a third operation on his right knee.

He was supplanted by Brandon Marshall as the team's top receiver and was released so the Broncos could avoid paying him a $5.4 million option bonus.

Coming off a torn knee ligament that wiped out most of his 2005 season in Green Bay, Walker piled up 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns on 69 catches in 2006 for Denver.

Walker made the Pro Bowl with the Packers in 2004 after catching 89 passes for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns. He has 252 career catches for 3,815 yards and 30 scores.

Ronald Curry led the Raiders with 55 receptions for 717 yards last season, but had only 11 catches in the final five games last season. Curry has 174 career receptions for 2,166 yards and 11 touchdowns.

The other receivers under contract are Johnnie Lee Higgins, who had six catches as a rookie last season for 47 yards, Will Buchanon, who has one career reception, and Drisan James and Todd Watkins, who have never caught a pass in the NFL.

The Raiders also needed help at tackle after cutting last year's starting left tackle Barry Sims. They also re-signed free agent Cornell Green later Wednesday. Green started at right tackle for most of last season.

Harris, a first-round pick by San Francisco in 2003, started all 32 games in 2005-06 for the 49ers before being relegated to a backup role last season. Harris has been plagued by penalty problems throughout his career, but Oakland is hoping line coach Tom Cable can resurrect him.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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