Shakir Soto better get used to the Bay Area.
The GAR grad was one of nine players to a sign reserve-future contract with the Oakland Raiders on Tuesday, securing his future with the AFC West team as he heads into his first full offseason as a pro.
Soto was signed to the Raiders practice squad ahead of the team’s Week 16 matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles and has played his way into Oakland’s future plans.
“I’m very excited,” Soto said. “To get the opportunity and the call with the Raiders and head out there, just get to meet the team and get adjusted to the coaches and my teammates and get to see Oakland, California, a bit. It’s definitely a blessing.
“People are excited to have me there. I’ve talked to a couple people and they liked my preseason tape with the Broncos and they feel like I fit right into their defense.”
After spending the preseason with the Denver Broncos, the defensive tackle used his time on the practice squad to the best of his ability, adapting himself to the Oakland locker room and familiarizing himself with the playbook.
“I feel like the big thing for me the last couple of weeks has just been learning — learning the plays and how things go, how the Raiders run the show and like to do things,” Soto said. “It’s been good. I feel like I fit perfectly. They like their D-tackles to be around 285 — if you look at their depth chart, some of them are 280, 285 and 300.”
Even though the Raiders are currently without a head coach, Soto is eager to get going with whomever is at the helm.
The big thing for Soto this offseason will be to keep his weight at 285 — it’s currently at 290 according to the team’s website — and keep “transforming my body.”
“Whoever it the next head coach is going to be, it’s going to be a great opportunity to meet him and go back out there and just grind and work and prepare of the OTAs and camp and the preseason and the regular season.”