ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders made another move to try to upgrade their defense Tuesday, signing free agent defensive end Greg Spires to a one-year contract to compete for a job as pass rusher on the right side.
The Raiders have been looking for someone to complement left end Derrick Burgess since losing Chris Clemons as a free agent to Philadelphia. Oakland signed Kalimba Edwards from Detroit earlier this offseason, drafted Trevor Scott in the sixth round out of Buffalo and has Jay Richardson back for his second year.
Spires, who was released by Tampa Bay in a salary cap move in February, joined the Raiders on Tuesday and participated in the team's offseason practice.
He has 39.5 sacks in his 10-year career, playing the past six seasons with the Buccaneers. He played only 10 games last year because of a calf injury. His best season came in 2004, when he had eight sacks.
Spires played in Tampa for defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, the father of Raiders coach Lane Kiffin.
The Raiders had the 25th rated defense in the NFL last season on the way to a 4-12 record. But they have made moves this offseason to improve that side of the ball, trading for shutdown cornerback DeAngelo Hall from Atlanta, signing safety Gibril Wilson and re-signing defensive lineman Tommy Kelly to a contract that could be worth more than $50 million.
In other moves announced Tuesday, the Raiders released veteran cornerback Duane Starks and waived undrafted free agent fullback Matt Hahn, who participated in the team's rookie minicamp last weekend.
Receiver Marcel Reece, who impressed the coaching staff as a tryout player at the camp, signed a contract Tuesday. He caught 48 passes for 980 yards and nine touchdowns in college at Washington.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press