On Friday, the Raiders signed veteran interior offensive lineman Andre Gurode as training camp gets under way in Oakland. A 34-year-old who hasn’t played in the league since 2011, there’s a really good chance Gurode won’t play in 2013 either.
Having not seen the field since late-2011, Gurode signed with the blocker-deficient Chicago Bears last December but didn’t see a single snap in his two weeks with the team. Since then, he has received minimal interest from around the league and appeared to be out of the NFL for good. The Raiders, however, weren’t satisfied with letting him fade into retirement.
A five-time Pro Bowl center, Gurode spent the majority of his career with the Dallas Cowboys. After the Cowboys severed ties in 2011, he signed with the Baltimore Ravens but only lasted in Maryland for one season.
While Gurode will provide some sort of insurance at both guard spots during training camp, it’s extremely unlikely that he’ll have any sort of impact on the Raiders’ 2013 campaign. Age and rust will clearly be hindrances to his once-elite blocking abilities, which should allow Tony Bergstrom and Lucas Nix to keep him away from the top spot on the left guard depth chart.
If anything, Gurode could impart some of his veteran knowledge on the Raiders’ subpar offensive line, but shouldn’t last into the regular season. Even without a clear veteran leader along the front five, Oakland isn’t any better off with Gurode in the mix.
The Raiders have made some underrated additions this offseason, but digging this deep into the free agent scrapheap isn’t aiding their current image as the NFL’s most pitiful team.