Townsend Signs With the Raiders


Defensive end Greg Townsend ended his monthlong holdout and signed a two-year contract with the Raiders Sunday.

No terms were disclosed, but Neal Allen, Townsend’s agent, said the deal makes Townsend the second-highest-paid defensive player in Raider history. Defensive tackle Howie Long, who earns a reported $1.1 million per year, is the Raiders’ highest-paid defensive player.

Townsend, who received $450,000 in 1989 in the final season of a two-year contract, is believed to be making $900,000 this season.

The signing of Townsend was timely for the Raiders, who learned Sunday that defensive end Emanuel King, who had started two exhibition games in place of Townsend, will be out indefinitely with a partial ligament tear in his right knee sustained in the Raiders’ 16-14 exhibition victory over Dallas Saturday.


However, it’s apparently coincidence that the Raiders signed Townsend after King’s injury, because Townsend had agreed to a contract Saturday before the team learned the extent of King’s injury.

After reviewing the deal, Townsend signed and reported to training camp in Oxnard Sunday. He is expected to participate in drills today, and has three weeks to prepare for the Raiders’ regular-season opener on Sept. 9 against the AFC champion Denver Broncos at the Coliseum.

Townsend, 6-feet-3, 265 pounds, is the top pass-rusher in Raider history, with 71.5 sacks in seven seasons. After leading the AFC with a career-high 11 sacks in 1988, Townsend had 10 sacks last season.

With the signing of Townsend, the Raiders are down to two unsigned players: quarterback Steve Beuerlein and safety Vann McElroy.


Raider Notes

Offensive tackle Bruce Wilkerson will be out indefinitely with a partial ligament tear in his left knee sustained in Saturday’s exhibition win over the Cowboys. “It’s a blow,” Coach Art Shell said. “We just have to regroup and move on.”