The Raiders re-signed veteran offensive lineman Khalif Barnes on Friday, making Barnes the first of the team's 18 prospective unrestricted free agents to be locked up before free agency begins.

Barnes, who turns 32 in late April, spent the past five seasons with the Raiders, mostly at right offensive tackle.

He started 11 games at left offensive tackle last season in relief of injured regular Jared Veldheer. Barnes moved to left guard for the final five games upon Veldheer's return.

"I'm so excited to be back," Barnes said in a team press release. "I'm going on my sixth year here, and we've had some ups and downs but there are some unfinished things we have to do here. I want to be a part of the process that turns this thing around."

The Raiders now have three of their starting offensive linemen under contract, along with center Stefen Wisniewski and right guard Mike Brisiel. Veldheer and veteran Tony Pashos are unsigned. The Raiders are adamant about wanting to re-sign Veldheer.

The Raiders are allowed to negotiate with their players until March 8 without competition from other teams. At that point, other teams are allowed to jump in the fray in advance of the start of free agency March 11.



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