Nevin Lawson can now forever be known as the first player to sign a contract for the Las Vegas Raiders. The team announced on Thursday that they’ve given Lawson a one-year contract extension. The terms of the deal have yet to be revealed. Lawson missed the first four games of the 2019 season due to a suspension but came on as a starter late in the year. He has loads of starting experience throughout his career and should be a valuable depth option heading into 2020.
Lawson Will Be Suspended to Start the Season
The Raiders won’t have Lawson to start the season because he was suspended for one game for using a helmet as a weapon during the Week 17 matchup against the Denver Broncos. Due to the fact that it was his second suspension in just a year, it’s somewhat surprising the Raiders were so quick to give him a new contract. They must really like his upside.
That said, he needs to play things safe heading into 2020. He could get the hammer if he’s suspended for a third time.
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Daryl Worley Next?
Lawson wasn’t the only starting cornerback for the Raiders who was set to hit free agency. Daryl Worley started every game for the team outside of games he missed due to injury. Jon Gruden hasn’t been shy about his affinity for the veteran.
“We think Worley has some game-changing ability, and we think he can play corner and safety,” Gruden said in December. “I think he’s got a little Malcolm Jenkins in him. I think he’s some skill that we need to use more of. We need to see these young corners, to be honest with you, more of these two young corners and Nick Nelson included.”
Worley played all over the field in 2019 and Gruden loves versatile players. Plus, he probably won’t be too expensive to extend. Don’t be surprised if there’s news on Worley getting a contract extension relatively soon.
Raiders Struggled Greatly at DB in 2019
Though the Raiders clearly like Worley and Lawson, there’s no doubt the team struggled in pass defense all season. They allowed the eighth-most pass yards per game in 2019 and the cornerbacks should get a lot of blame for that. Rookie Trayvon Mullen was probably the team’s most impressive cornerback in 2019 and the team is very high on him. He should get better with another year under his belt and that should only help players like Worley and Lawson.
Also, Johnathan Abram will be back after missing all but one game thanks to injury. The Raiders are extremely high on him and he should be an impact player from day one. There were a lot of moving parts in the team’s secondary during 2019 and hopefully a more consistent lineup will do a lot to help them in pass defense. There’s also a chance the team adds some talent in free agency and the draft.