Being under an exclusive rights tender meant, ultimately, the ball was in the Raiders' court more than Reece. Therefore, he re-signed, participated in OTAs Monday, and that is one less bell to answer as we get closer to training camp.
With that said, this signing is a big boost to the Raiders' offense. Reece, when utilized correctly, is a Swiss army knife offensively. He can catch short passes. He can catch intermediate passes. He can catch deep seam routes (see week nine vs. Denver).
Reece can run the ball, blocks well for a player with his limited experience at the fullback position, and stretches the field perhaps more than any fullback in the modern NFL.
With the new zone-blocking scheme and no clear-cut backup to Darren McFadden, here is another reason why he could be so valuable: it is not out of the realm of possibility that Reece gets some carries this year on a consistent basis.
Signing Owen Schmitt, a much more traditional fullback, allows the Raiders to truly make Reece a multi-purpose threat. Perhaps we will see Reece play an H-back type position, akin to Joel Dreessen in Houston. Maybe he will be the second tight end in some sets.
The possibilities are potentially limitless for a player I think can be a Pro Bowler perennially.
The key will be getting in and learning the system and showing his skill set, which will in turn allow Greg Knapp the potential to expand Reece's role. Considering the Raiders are a little thin at the running back position and do not have an established tight end, a player of Reece's ability can be an invaluable asset for an offense that wants to be a little more controlled in 2012.
Ultimately, this could all just be hypothesis and Knapp makes him a strictly blocking-first fullback like Justin Griffith was here in Oakland. Maybe there will not be the diversity because someone like Taiwan Jones or Mike Goodson becomes a capable, steady backup running back.
Brandon Myers or David Ausberry could thrive in this new offense and give Carson Palmer a legitimate option at tight end. Or perhaps, the Raiders' not-quite-so-secret weapon is back in the fold, and Knapp has a chance to show just how much his offense has evolved since he departed the Black Hole in 2008.
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