The only thing sweeter than adding an All-Pro defensive talent is making a rival weaker in the process. If the Las Vegas Raiders were able to sign Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons in free agency, it would feel twice as good. According to The Athletic’s Vic Tafur, the silver and black aim to do just that:
“Another player the Raiders would like to steal from an AFC West rival, according to league sources, is Broncos safety Justin Simmons. He could play center field next to Johnathan Abram. Last season, Simmons broke up 15 passes and had four interceptions but, like Jones, could be tagged if he can’t come to a long-term deal agreement.”
Simmons came into the NFL in 2016 as a third-round pick. He quickly became a starter on the stout Broncos defense and he’s coming off his best season just as he’s about to hit free agency. Thanks to his efforts, he was elected as a second-team All-Pro. He’s going to be a hot commodity in free agency because of that.
Simmons & Abram Could Be Formidable Duo
It’s no secret the Raiders defensive backfield wasn’t the strongest in the NFL. Much of that was thanks to injury, but there’s no doubt they need to add more talent. Johnathan Abram was supposed to have a large role in the defense in 2019 before he hit the injured reserve. The Raiders are still really excited about him and he could end up being a cornerstone of the defense for years to come.
Simmons is only 26 years old and he’s barely hitting his prime. He’s has a lot of productive years left in the tank. Pairing him with Abram for the next five seasons could do wonders for the Raiders defense. They haven’t had the best safety play for several seasons now and Simmons will instantly come in and help fix that. He won’t come cheap, but it may be worth the investment to steal him from the Broncos.
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Raiders to Make a Run at Chris Jones?
Simmons would be an exciting addition for the Raiders, but there’s still one guy who should be their top target and that’s Kansas City Chiefs’ Chris Jones. The defensive lineman is one of the best interior pass rushers in the NFL and Las Vegas is going to be players for him, according to Tafur:
“We have written plenty about how Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones is the Raiders’ top free-agent target, and we will have to wait and see if Kansas City uses the franchise tag to lock up the Super Bowl star.”
The Chiefs have the advantage in keeping Jones, but he’s going to command a massive contract. Considering they need to have room for Patrick Mahomes‘ eventual record-breaking contract, Jones could look elsewhere to make the big bucks. The Raiders are loaded with cap space and nothing would make the team more happy than weakening the Chiefs defense. Adding both Simmons and Jones would seriously help the team’s defense. If Las Vegas wants any chance to slow down Kansas City’s offense, they’re going to need as much talent on defense as possible.