ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Raiders center Rodney Hudson has agreed to a three-year, $33.4 million contract extension, with $24.4 million guaranteed, ESPN has confirmed, making him the highest-paid center in the NFL in terms of average annual per year pay at $11.13 million a season.
Per ESPN Stats & Information, only two other centers make at least $11 million a year -- the Bills' Mitch Morse ($11.125) and the Steelers' Maurkice Pouncey ($11.0). Four centers, though, have more guaranteed money -- the Falcons' Alex Mack ($28.5), the 49ers' Weston Richburg ($28.5), the Cowboys' Travis Frederick ($28.2) and Morse ($27.5).
The NFL Network was first to report the agreement.
The signing continues a trend of the Raiders investing heavily in the offensive line after signing right tackle Trent Brown to the richest contract for an O-lineman in history at $66 million, with $36.75 million guaranteed, over four years, this past spring, and drafting left tackle Kolton Miller in 2018.
Hudson, 30, and a two-time Pro Bowler, is one of Raiders coach Jon Gruden's favorite players. And why not?
Per Pro Football Focus, the 6-foot-2, 315-pound Hudson's career pass-blocking efficiency (99.2) and pass-blocking grade (94.8) are the best such numbers for centers since PFF started assigning grades.
Since 2016, Hudson has played in all 48 of Oakland's regular-season games and has allowed one sack.
Last season, he played 1,074 snaps and did not surrender a sack, while giving up just one hit and four QB hurries for a league-best 99.6 PFF pass-blocking efficiency grade among centers. No other center played at least 1,000 snaps last year and allowed less than eight QB hurries, per PFF.
Hudson was asked at the beginning of camp what part of his game he tried to focus on this offseason.
"Everything, man," Hudson said. "Just trying to get better and continue to take care of my body. Being available, I think, the most (important) thing is being available to play. So, (I'm) just trying to take care of myself, trying to continue to stretch and get stronger and continue to work at everything, really."
Hudson, a second-round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs out of Florida State in 2011 who joined the Raiders in 2015, completed his master's degree at Nova Southeastern University.
"He's graduated from Pass Protection U, Run Blocking State, and now he's got his master's in business," Gruden said in June. "And that just certifies what kind of guy you are dealing with here. He's a great player on the field, he's one of our captains and true team leaders. He's as tough of a guy as we have.
"I've seen him play with kidney stones and various ailments, and to get a master's degree is a huge accomplishment, and I compliment him until the day's end. He's special."