Raiders retain starting defensive tackle Justin Ellis

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Raiders defensive tackle Justin Ellis was about to become a free agent, but instead he’ll stay put.

Ellis has agreed to a three-year, $15 million contract to remain in Oakland, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

The 335-pound Ellis had his best season in 2017, starting 14 games and emerging as a potent force in the middle of the line.

As a 27-year-old playing his best football, Ellis certainly would have had offers in free agency. But he decided to stay with the only team he’s played for, and give new coach Jon Gruden a building block on defense.