Ndamukong Suh among the players that the Las Vegas Raiders could consider with the June 1 cap relief

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HENDERSON, Nev. – The Las Vegas Raiders have 88 players on their 90-man offseason list, and while they have drafted two offensive linemen, two defensive linemen and a couple of running backs, they still have needs as they enter the final part of their offseason program.

Especially at right tackle and in the secondary.

Consider: While Las Vegas currently has only more than $ 6 million in salary caps, according to ESPN Stats & Information – only five teams have less – the relief comes next week. For with the terms on June 1 applied to the March 16 releases by defender Carl Nassib and linebacker Cory Littleton, the Raiders will receive an additional $ 19.8 million in salary cap. By that measure, there were only four teams that had more than $ 20 million in total space this week.

So what will the Raiders, under new management with general manager Dave Ziegler and coach Josh McDaniels, do when space and needs are at stake? What should they do?

Keep in mind that the Raiders have already paid out some big money this offseason, the $ 233,565-plus million in cash spent accounted for the 11th most in the NFL.

A few potential opportunities for Las Vegas to chew on, with organized team activities continuing this month and a three-day mandatory minicamp scheduled for 7-9 p.m. June.

Another defensive tackle, are you Suh, uh, sure?

Hear me out here. Sure, the Raiders already have 27 defensive tackles on the list (the actual number is eight, but it feels like more) after signing free agency Bilal Nichols, re-signing Johnathan Hankins and drafting Neil Farrell Jr. and Matthew Butler, among others. other features. But coach Josh McDaniels has said he likes to make a strength, yes, stronger. Then imagine the perennial bad boy Ndamukong Suh matching the former bad boys of the NFL.

Sure, Suh is 35, and the five-time Pro Bowler’s best days are behind him, but he has not missed a game since 2011 and has only missed two in his career. Suh had six sacks in each of his last two seasons with 32 combined QB hits. Beating him with Nichols, who has eight sacks together the last two seasons, to collapse his pocket from within would free up defensive ends Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones.

More depth to the secondary

Connected to Stephon Gilmore, JC Jackson and James Bradberry out of season while fans fought for Tyrann Mathieu, the Raiders landed none of them.

Las Vegas actually acquired Rock Ya-Sin in a swap deal with Indianapolis Colts for edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue, but suspected starter Trayvon Mullen Jr., who struggled with a toe injury and only played in five games last season, comes after an unpublished operation on his one foot. And while Nate Hobbs and Tre’von Moehrig solidified their seats in slots and free safety, respectively, Johnathan Abram did not get his fifth-year pick picked up by the Raiders. Still, the Raiders did nothing to get his replacement.

Kevin King – a second-round pick of the Green Bay Packers in 2017, who has seven interceptions in 51 career games, 42 starts – is still on the market. He also played safety in college, and versatility is key in the new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham’s plan. And if you want to go in depth with a vet, Richard Sherman is still out there, and maybe a transition to safety in his future.

What about the second line of defense?

Let’s see, Las Vegas has a Pro Bowler in center linebacker Denzel Perryman, a rising cover linebacker in Divine Deablo and a guy who knows Graham’s plan in Kyler Fackrell. Other than that, there are a lot of filler-type guys.

If the Raiders decide to kick the tires off a vet or two, they could do worse than Anthony Barr, who started 98 games in the last eight seasons for the Minnesota Vikings and went on to win four Pro Bowls, and Dont’a Hightower, who spent the last nine years with the Patriots. I’ve mentioned the Hightower as a potential pickup for the Raiders before, but wondered if the Hightower, with 6-foot-3, 260 pounds, might not be slim enough for Graham’s more multiple defenses.

Who plays right tackle?

One scenario could see last year’s first-round pick, Alex Leatherwood, kick back to play the position he was drafted to play before being moved to the right guard after four games. Another sees Brandon Parker, who started 12 games in right tackle as a rookie in 2018 and replaced Leatherwood last season on the outside, and got an extended look after signing a $ 3.5 million one-year contract this spring.

Derek Carr was fired 40 times last season, the second-largest part of his career. Two veteran right tackles are out there in Riley Reiff, who started 12 games for the AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals before going down with an ankle injury and missed the playoffs and the Super Bowl, and Daryl Williams, who started 33 out of 33 games in the last two years for Buffalo Bills.

To take care of their own

McDaniels could enter the training camp with the roster as it is. And that could mean extensions for guys who are already under contract after already taking care of Crosby and Carr.

In fact, Carr said he wanted his deal to be kind enough for the team to take care of Pro Bowl slot receiver Hunter Renfrow and tight-end Foster Moreau. Carr later mentioned tight-end Darren Waller.

Renfrow, whose 103 catches last season were the second-highest in franchise history by a receiver, appears to be first in line for an extension after being a fifth-round pick of the Raiders in 2019. Waller, meanwhile, hired a new agency at the start of last season in Klutch Sports, and although he is one of the best tight-ends in the NFL, he suffered through an injury-plagued season that cost him six games. His total catch fell from a franchise record of 107 in 2020 to 55, and with the addition of Davante Adams on the outside and Carr’s confidence in Renfrow on the pitch, you have to wonder how it will affect Waller’s production and expected value for the new. regime.

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