Saturday night, Oakland Raiders center Rodney Hudson was honored at the annual Commitment to Excellence Award dinner. Hudson was selected by teammates as the Raiders’ Commitment to Excellence Award winner for the 2018 season, marking the second-straight year that he has garnered the honor.
Hudson was presented with the award by the Steering Committee for the Booster Clubs of the Oakland Raiders prior to the Silver and Black’s Monday Night Football contest against the Denver Broncos on Dec. 24.
Hudson was named an alternate for the Pro Bowl earlier this year after earning consecutive selections in 2016 and 2017 and has played every snap at center this season despite battling ankle and knee injuries. Since signing with the Raiders as an unrestricted free agent in 2015, Hudson has started all 59 games in which he has appeared. He was initially drafted by Kansas City in 2011 and played for the Chiefs for four seasons.
Hudson is one of just four offensive linemen in Raiders history to be named the Commitment to Excellence Award winner and is the first back-to-back recipient since Charles Woodson (2014-15). He joins Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Otto (1968 and 1971) as the only offensive linemen to be tabbed for the Commitment to Excellence Award twice.
Voted on by Raiders players, the Commitment to Excellence Award is presented annually to the Raider who best exemplifies hard work, leadership, and excellence on and off the field throughout the season. The honor originated in 1967 as the Gorman Award and was re-named the Commitment to Excellence Award in 1983.
OAKLAND, Calif. — The Raiders were pleased Sunday to re-sign defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins before he could reach free agency.
The development, however, created a possible logjam.
A decision awaits this week on the Raiders future of nose tackle Justin Ellis. His $2.25 million salary for 2019 will become fully guaranteed if he’s still on the roster Friday. While the team could retain both run stoppers, the small window for financial savings with Ellis makes a potential trade or release worth monitoring.
Moving on would save $2.5 million in cash and cap space, including a $250,000 workout bonus. He still would count $2.25 million in dead money against the 2019 cap because of a roster bonus that became fully guaranteed on March 17, 2018.
Last March, Ellis signed a three-year extension worth up to $13.5 million, but little opportunity followed to showcase his talents to the Raiders’ new coaching staff. On Sept. 10, early in the second half of the first game, he suffered a foot injury when he tripped over linebacker Derrick Johnson while in back-end pursuit on a running play against the Los Angeles Rams.
Days later, he was placed on injured reserve, and the team signed Hankins.
Ellis, 28, missed 10 games before being activated. Months of rest and rehabilitation, however, noticeably stripped him of peak physical form. He gave the Raiders what he had in a rotational role, averaging 17.6 defensive snaps during the final five weeks.
Hankins, 26, averaged 38.2 defensive snaps when starting 14 of 15 games. His two-year contract is worth $8.5 million. Of it, $5.25 million is tied to full or partial guarantees.