Hamilton agrees to three-year, $6 million deal

Unrestricted free agent defensive end Bobby Hamilton, a 10-year veteran who has been with four different teams in his career, has reached a contract agreement that will keep him with the Oakland Raiders, for whom he played in 2004.

He will officially sign a three-year, $6 million contract early next week, having come to an accord early Saturday after testing the free agent market for a few days. The Raiders acted quickly to regain Hamilton once it became apparent he had other employment opportunities.

Hamilton, 33, visited with Miami Dolphins officials this week and had been contacted by at least two other teams. Despite his age and NFL tenure, Hamilton generated a solid market, in part, because so many clubs are moving to the 3-4 defense. He has played that scheme much of his career and is also a versatile defender who can move inside and log some snaps at tackle.

In Oakland last season, he helped the Raiders transition to the 3-4 and was one of the few front seven players who performed well on an otherwise shoddy defense. Hamilton played in all 16 games and started 15 of them, registering 57 tackles, one sack and three pass deflections.

A durable veteran, Hamilton has averaged 15.4 starts and 58 tackles since 2000.

The former Southern Mississippi standout certainly is a self-made success story, a player who exhibited tenacity and perseverance early in his career. Originally signed by Seattle as an undrafted college free agent in 1994, he played two seasons in the NFL Europe League before earning a regular NFL job with the New York Jets in 1996.

Hamilton has played with Seattle (1994), the Jets (1996-99), New England (2000-2003) and Oakland (2004). In 134 appearances, he has 389 tackles, 17 sacks and one interception.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click hereInsider.