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Raiders head coach Jon Gruden.

Unless the Oakland Raiders do a miracle and make it to the playoffs, there is another football week for the team. With such little time left in the season, Oakland kicked the tires on some young players. The trend continued Tuesday as the Raiders claimed former San Francisco defensive line Jeremiah Valoago among the eliminators.

On the move, the team sent defensive lineman Nick Nelson to the injured reserve. Nelson was recently promoted from the practice squad but was injured early in the game against the Los Angeles Charger on Sunday.

Valoago was a late-season addition for the 49ers and was recently waived by the team. He played in four games for them and compiled two tackles. He was originally signed with the Detriot Lions as an undrafted free agent in 2017 where he played nine games and notched a sack. He later walked the Miami Dolphins where he was a member of their practice squad for the 2018 season.

He had a long, five-year college career at UNLV, so he was familiar with the future home of the Raiders.

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One of the unsung heroes in the Raiders’ defensive line was Johnathan Hankins. He is one of the best running backs on the team of all time but does not get a ton of fans because he is not a quarterback and only has one season. That should not discount his impact on defense this season. Thanks to his strong play, the Raiders converted his roster bonus into a sign bonus, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.

The Raiders changed the $ 1.75M roster bonus since DT Johnathan Hankins this offseason as a signing bonus, per source. Not only does it offer a bonus for two years, but it is often a reflection of a player who fits into the team’s future plans. He will be solid in 2019.

– Field Yates (@FieldYates) December 24, 2019

As Yates mentioned, this move is a good sign for Hankins’ future on the team. His roster spot doesn’t have to be given, but he looks like he’ll be joining the Raiders in Las Vegas. It’s not all that surprising considering the praise Jon Gruden gave the veteran in the offseason.

(Hankins) is probably our most improved player and most impacted defensive lineman to date, “Gruden said in August.” He has better durability, he can play hash on hash. I really like where he is, a lot. “

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