Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer (3) is sacked by Denver Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil (92) and Jason Hunter (90) in the first quarter at
Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer (3) is sacked by Denver Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil (92) and Jason Hunter (90) in the first quarter at the O.co Coliseum in Oakland, Calif. on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. (Nhat V. Meyer/Mercury News)

The Raiders entered free agency Wednesday, signing linebacker Kaluka Maiava, defensive tackle Pat Sims and defensive end Jason Hunter.

"We're excited to add three veterans through free agency, helping to create depth and competition on defense," general manager Reggie McKenzie said in a team press release. "We'll continue to add free agents as the opportunity surfaces."

Maiava, 26, started 13 games for the Cleveland Browns last season and has 22 starts in 50 games. He arrives a day after starting strong side linebacker Philip Wheeler signed with the Miami Dolphins.

A fourth-round draft pick out of USC in 2009, Maiava (5-foot-11 ½, 229 pounds) was a fourth-round draft pick while playing in a quartet of linebackers that included Brian Cushing, Clay Matthews and Rey Maualuga.

Free agent Kaluka Maiava (56), formerly of the Cleveland Browns, has signed with the Oakland Raiders. Maiava is shown tackling the Raiders’ Juron
Free agent Kaluka Maiava (56), formerly of the Cleveland Browns, has signed with the Oakland Raiders. Maiava is shown tackling the Raiders' Juron Criner in the second quarter in the O.Co Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.(Nhat V. Meyer/Staff)

Sims, 27, has 23 starts in five seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals but just one in the past two years. At 6-foot-2, 335 pounds, Sims can play over the nose at a position of need for a team that lost Desmond Bryant to Cleveland in free agency and has parted ways with veteran Richard Seymour.

Hunter, 6-foot-4, 275 pounds, spent last season on the injured reserve list of the Denver Broncos with a triceps injury. Hunter has 23 starts and played in 88 games with the Broncos, Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers. He was an undrafted free agent signed by the Packers when McKenzie was in the Green Bay personnel department.

The Raiders also signed cornerback Coye Francies, who was primarily a special teams player last season for Oakland.