Tight end Gabe Holmes signed the contract tender offered to him as an exclusive rights free agent on Thursday. The 26-year old Purdue alum missed the 2016 season with an ankle injury, but is healthy again and will join a deep, talented position group that also includes Jared Cook, Lee Smith and Clive Walford.
Holmes spent most of his rookie year on the practice squad, though he was on the 53-man roster later in the 2015 season but never active. Standing 6-foot-5 and 255 pounds, Holmes has the size and athleticism to be a versatile, productive NFL tight end. He'll be in the mix trying to make next season's roster, and can certainly add value on special teams should the Raiders choose to keep four tight ends.
An exclusive rights free agent tender is offered to free agents with less than three years NFL experience. That player can't negotiate with other teams, and must sit out the year if they don't sign with the team offering the contract.