ALAMEDA, Calif. Tom Van Arsdale Jersey . - When George Atkinson IIIs name went uncalled through seven rounds of the NFL draft, there was no doubt where he would end up signing as an undrafted free agent. Despite offers from several teams, Atkinson ultimately signed with the team he was always destined to join, following his famous fathers footsteps to the Oakland Raiders. Now more than a quarter century after George Atkinson Jr. terrorized Lynn Swann and dozens of other NFL wide receivers as a hard-hitting safety with the Raiders, his son is trying to make the team as a backup running back and special teams contributor. "I had to turn a lot of teams down," the younger Atkinson said. "Right out of the gate, they were like, Dont go to the Raiders. I know you want to follow your heart but, weve got a spot for you here. But I know without a doubt this is the spot for me." Father and son knew this was a distinct possibility as the fifth round of the draft ended and no team had called. With two rounds remaining, they believed it might be better if the younger Atkinson wasnt drafted so he could make sure he could sign with the Raiders. While some sons might prefer to blaze their own trail in an organization with no connection to their father, the younger Atkinson had been waiting to put on a Raiders uniform ever since he was a kid. "Ive looked up to this organization and this club for a long time and there was no part of that going on with me," he said. "Ive looked up to my dad and wanted to follow in his footsteps but also lead my own trail at the same time. Youve got to find that balance and thats what Im trying to do right now." The elder Atkinson is a beloved member of the organization for his hard-hitting play that epitomized Oaklands style of play in the 1970s. He had 30 career interceptions and helped Oakland win its first Super Bowl following the 1976 season. He was most famous for his hits on Swann, which led former Steelers coach Chuck Noll to refer to him as part of the "criminal element" in football. He is now a broadcaster for the team but made a point of staying away from rookie minicamp last weekend. "He doesnt need that added pressure," the elder Atkinson said. "Hes learning a new game altogether. The pro ranks are a little bit different from high school and college. He needs time to focus on getting adjusted to the NFL. I dont need to be around. Its his time. I dont want to be a distraction to him and the team." The opportunity to play with the Raiders took out much of the sting of going undrafted after skipping his senior season at Notre Dame. In three years in college, the younger Atkinson rushed for 943 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also returned two kickoffs for scores as a freshman. "Its not all about how you come in, but how you leave," he said. "How you set your mark here in the league. You still have to make a team, drafted or undrafted." Atkinson is part of a crowded group of running backs that includes free-agent acquisition Maurice Jones-Drew, returning starter Darren McFadden and last years sixth-round pick, Latavius Murray. But Oakland is searching for a returner and Atkinson III brings one attribute none of the other players competing for a roster spot have. "I think hes a talented athlete and hes got a lot of speed," coach Dennis Allen said. "He has the ability to help us on special teams also. So, I think anytime a chance to get a legacy, somebody who has the Raider blood lines, ... those guys understand what it means to be a Raider. We were pleased that we were able to bring him in here." NOTES: The Raiders signed seventh-round S Jonathan Dowling and CB T.J. Carrie to four-year contracts. ... Oakland also signed free agent DE Denico Autry and waived DT David Carter. ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL Wayman Tisdale Jersey . The Detroit Tigers star had microfracture surgery Friday to repair the medial and lateral meniscus in his left knee. "I dont want to say it was a surprise," team president and general manager Dave Dombrowski said. Spud Webb Jersey .Do you have to be that close? Federer snapped at a TV cameraman hovering nearby as he received medical advice after losing a set on Wednesday.For Nadal and Sharapova, the nuisance was coming from the lowly-ranked qualifiers across the net.PHILADELPHIA -- Despite all the changes made in the front office and behind the bench, Ryan Kesler was not satisfied with the Vancouver Canucks path. He still wanted out. "It just seemed like the direction they were going didnt fit what I thought my career was going to be," Kesler said. "At the end of the day I want to win a championship and I want to win it now, and four years is a little too long for me." Not wanting the situation to "fester" like the Roberto Luongo saga did under his predecessor, general manager Jim Benning sought a quick resolution to that problem. He found it Friday by trading Kesler and a 2015 third-round pick to the Anaheim Ducks for centre Nick Bonino, defenceman Luca Sbisa and the 24th and 85th picks in this weekends NHL draft. "He just felt he needed a fresh start and quite frankly we dont want somebody that doesnt want to be here," Benning said Friday afternoon before the draft began. "Were going to acquire high-quality people that are going to come in here and want to work hard for one another, so we didnt give it much thought." Kesler, who turns 30 in August, asked for a trade during what he called a "painful" regular season full of losing that ended without a playoff appearance and ultimately cost GM Mike Gillis and coach John Tortorella their jobs. He met with Benning after the season and reiterated that he wanted to go somewhere he could win. But the Livonia, Mich., native wouldnt go anywhere. His full no-trade clause allowed him to dictate his destination, and the only two teams hed approve a trade to were the Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks. Benning said the Canucks asked Kesler and agent Kurt Overhardt about expanding that list, but to no avail. Chicago was "in it right until the end," according to Benning, but it was important to him to get a potential No. 2 centre and a player who could grow into a top-four defenceman. He hopes he has that in the 26-year-old Bonino and 24-year-old Sbisa. Bonino had 49 points this past season -- some of that thanks to playing with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry -- while Kesler had 43. Sbisa missed time with a torn tendon in his hand but has been considered a top prospect since before he was traded to Anaheim from the Philadelphia Flyers for Chris Pronger at the 2009 draft. "Getting Bonino was an important piece ... (for) being able to replace his goal production for our team next year," Benning said. "Getting Luca, he gives us some physical play from the back end. Hes strong. He plays like a heavy game and I think in our division his heaviness is going to come in handy for our group." When Benning wrapped up the Kesler trade Friday afternoon, he was just getting started making moves. The Canuccks traded defenceman Jason Garrison to the Tampa Bay Lightning for the 50th pick in the draft and then flipped the 85th pick acquired from the Ducks to the New York Rangers for grinder Derek Dorsett. Wholesale Kings Jerseys. Trading Garrison brings salary-cap relief in the form of $4.6 million over the next four seasons. Acquiring Dorsett means some familiarity, as he played under Desjardins with the WHLs Medicine Hat Tigers. Despite the bevy of moves, Benning refused to call the Canucks approach a "rebuild." "We acquired players that we thought are going to have an impact on us winning next year," he said. "If it was going to be a rebuild then maybe we wouldnt have tried to fight so hard to get players that can come in and help our team win next year." If Kesler believed the Canucks, under the new direction of president Trevor Linden, Benning and coach Willie Desjardins, were going to win next year, he most likely wouldnt have asked to be traded. The 2003 first-round pick had played his entire career with the Canucks, all 655 games worth. But on his post-trade conference call, Kesler made it clear he wouldnt have been happy sticking around. "The fact that theyre in a rebuild and are looking to get younger and are years away from being a contender, I think it was just time for me to move on and win and hopefully take home a championship," Kesler said. Keslers fond memories of Vancouver included getting drafted, scoring his first goal (with an assist from Linden) and going to the Stanley Cup final in 2011. But much has changed since then, and the Canucks are a team in transition. The Ducks, on the other hand, consider themselves Cup contenders now after losing to the eventual-champion Los Angeles Kings in seven games in the Western Conference semifinals. But something had to be done to make that next step. "We knew we needed (a centre to play) behind Ryan Getzlaf," Anaheim GM Bob Murray said. "This is a huge move for our hockey team. Were better today than we were yesterday." Even though Murray was insistent from the beginning of negotiations that the Ducks were not willing to part with the No. 10 pick Friday night, the Canucks built toward being a better team down the line by getting a first-round pick at 24 and stockpiling with others. Vancouver took Calgary Hitmen winger Jake Virtanen, an Abbotsford, B.C., native and Canucks fan through childhood, with the sixth pick. Shoulder surgery will keep Virtanen from being able to take contact until at least the fall, but this was another move designed for the long-term future. In the short term, Kesler gets an opportunity to play behind Getzlaf for a contender, while the Canucks get to move on. "I didnt want this to linger," Benning said. ' ' '
espite offers from severa
espite offers from severa