Raiders sign their punter of the present and future


Johnny Townsend should be the Raiders punter in 2018. The fifth-round pick is unproven at this level, but he has the power and accuracy to succeed at the NFL. The Raiders are confident in this kid, so much so that he’s the only punter on the roster.

Colby Wadman was waived last week, and Townsend will take over all practice reps moving forward.

That on-field work starts in earnest when OTAs begin next week, but he took care of an off-field matter on Monday.Townsend signed his four-year rookie contract, officially becoming a Raiders employee. His salary is largely set by the league’s rookie wage scale, and compensation is based on draft slot.

The University of Florida alum was taken No. 173 overall. He’s expected to earn $2.576 million over the life of his rookie deal, per The site states he’d due a $161,475 signing bonus, and carries a $534,388 salary-cap hit.

The Raiders are excited to have Townsend in Alameda.

“He was our guy, I think, from the beginning,” Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said. “He’s an excellent directional punter. He has a strong leg. When you talk about punters, no one really looks into what kind of holders they are. The holder is as important to the operation of a field goal than almost the kick itself. This man can put the ball down, he can field a bad snap. He’s an excellent punter. He can handle a bad snap and he’s a great kid. He’s an outstanding athlete, so we’re happy to have him.”

Raiders add two to roster

The Raiders signed safety Dallin Leavitt and long snapper Drew Scott, tryout players who impressed at the team's rookie minicamp. The Raiders roster is back at 90, the league's offseason maximum. 

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