ALAMEDA – The new Raiders coaching staff likes Jamize Olawale’s skill set, and believed he could handle a bigger, more prominent role than years past.
The fullback has become a secondary rusher this season, flashing a combination of power and somewhat surprising speed with the ball in his hands. Those opportunities have become more frequent as the season’s grown old, now totaling 116 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries.
That’s 4.6-yards per carry, not too bad for someone with five professional carries entering the season.
He remains a quality special teams player and a solid teammate, leaving little reason why the Raiders wouldn’t want to keep him around after his contract expires following this league year.
He was set to be a restricted free agent in 2016 – the team could’ve given him a one-year tender and matched any outside offer -- but the Raiders chose to lock him up with a three-year contract signed on Tuesday afternoon.
“(Signing an extension) feels great,” Olawale said in a video posted by the team. “I love what we’re building and I’m happy to be a part of it. Let’s go out and stack these wins together.”
Olawale signed a deal that should keep him with the team through the 2018 season. Terms of the contract were not immediately disclosed.
The Raiders signed Olawale off the Dallas practice squad late in 2012, and he’s been on the 53-man roster ever since. The San Francisco native went to North Texas and entered the league as an undrafted free agent.
The Raiders hope to sign several of their own upcoming free agents, though most of that action will take place during the offseason.