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Raiders sign first-round pick Washington

ALAMEDA, Calif. (July 26, 2005) -- The Oakland Raiders signed top draft pick Fabian Washington to a five-year, $7.8 million contract and also added three free agents three days before the team's first training camp practice.

Washington's deal calls for about $5 million for a signing bonus and other guarantees.

The Raiders, determined to upgrade a defense that was one of the worst in the league last season, selected the speedy cornerback with the 23rd overall pick in the first round of April's draft out of Nebraska.

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Washington ran a 4.29 40-yard dash at the scouting combine in February in Indianapolis, but has been clocked at 4.23 and 4.25. The Raiders' biggest priority in the draft was to add speed and upgrade a defense that underachieved in Rob Ryan's first year as coordinator.

The Raiders were 30th overall on defense among the 32 teams, including 30th against the pass (245.2 yards per game) and 22nd versus the run (125.8). Oakland allowed 371 total yards per game.

Oakland also signed safety Calvin Branch and defensive tackles Lorn Mayers and Michael Quarshie.

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