Addressing a list of needs on defense was key for the Las Vegas Raiders heading into the 2021 offseason. Las Vegas has made a few moves with defense in mind, like signing EDGE Yannick Ngakoue and bringing back safety Karl Joseph. They will also hope to land a defensive playmaker with the No. 17 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.
There's still work to be done, though. Here are three remaining free agents who could help the Raiders defensively in 2021.
1. Richard Sherman
There is clear interest by the Raiders in veteran cornerback Richard Sherman, which comes as no surprise. Las Vegas' secondary was ranked as the second-worst in the league last season by ProFootballFocus. This young group needs a veteran who can set the tone. Sherman, a five-time Pro Bowler, is certianly up for the challenge. He was limited in 2020 due to injuries but is just one season removed from a Pro Bowl nod in 2019, when he recorded an 88.9 overall grade and 90.1 in coverage from PFF. He can still make plays, as evidenced by his 3 interceptions (including a pick-6) and 11 passes defensed in 2019. Sherman would immediately make this worrisome secondary better.
2. Casey Hayward
If a Sherman deal doesn't come to frution, Las Vegas should still be in the market for a veteran corner to help their secondary. Enter Casey Hayward. Once one of the top shutdown players in the league, Hayward is the kind of experienced talent that Las Vegas needs to lead its secondary. His 2020 campaign wasn't stellar with an overall PFF grade of 59.5, and he didn't have injuries to blame, though that was an anomaly. He hasn't posted any other overall grades below 70.0 during his nine-year career. He also earned an 83.0 grade in 2019 when he allowed just 27 receptions, grabbed 2 interceptions and registered 8 passes defensed across 16 games. He still has some of that elite level of play left in the tank, and he could be fairly affordable coming off of an usually down year.
3. K.J. Wright
Linebacker is one area Las Vegas can address in the draft, but a rookie isn't a sure thing to make an impact right away. Veteran K.J. Wright could bring playmaking on Day 1 to this defense. He racked up 11.0 tackles for loss in 2020 at 31 years old, the most he's posted in a season since 2016, showcasing the juice he still has left. Wright would also help with the Raiders' coverage woes. He's totaled at least 10 passes defensed in each of the last two seasons along with 4 combined interceptions in that time. Wright shouldn't break the bank with him still be available and free-agent dollars shrinking up. He presents an attractive, experienced option for the Raiders to pursue.
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Isaiah De Los Santos is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Isaiah De Los Santos also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username zayyy05328. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.