It’s been a busy second day of free agency for the Las Vegas Raiders as they’ve made several notable moves. The biggest thing they’ve done is significantly upgrade a number of spots on the defense. That has continued as they’ve reportedly agreed to a deal with former Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass rusher Carl Nassib, according to Jerry McDonald.
Nassib is another sneaky good signing by Mike Mayock and the Raiders. He’s not a big name, but he’s cheap and productive. He’s massive at 6’7 and a pretty versatile player considering his size. The Raiders missed out on Robert Quinn and while Nassib doesn’t have that kind of talent, he should make an impact from day one.
Nassib Is a Productive Pass Rusher
The 2018 Raiders featured one of the weakest groups of pass rushers ever. They only accumulated 13 sacks throughout an entire season. The 2019 version of the group was much better as the additions of Clelin Ferrell, Maxx Crosby and Benson Mayowa paid off well. The Raiders finished the season with 32 sacks as a team, which was a huge improvement. However, that number was only good for 24th best in the NFL. Simply put, the Raiders need to be better about going after the passer.
Luckily, they’ve already improved their pass-rushing this offseason. Nassib isn’t about to come in and put up double-digit sacks for the team, but he’s gotten 12.5 sacks over the two seasons, which isn’t a bad number considering he’s not always a starter. Throw in Maliek Collins, who the Raiders also agreed to a deal with on Tuesday, and the Raiders could get to the quarterback at a much more frequent rate. The team needed to improve their defense heading into 2020 and it’s hard to argue that they haven’t already done that with their free agency moves.
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Raiders Are Nailing Free Agency so Far
Last offseason, the Raiders started off free agency by making a big splash and making Trent Brown the highest-paid offensive lineman ever. This year, they didn’t make a big splash to start and their first move was a deal for Chicago Bears linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, who wasn’t a household name but should thrive as the starting middle linebacker for the team. They ended Monday with an agreement for Marcus Mariota to come to Las Vegas and that pretty much was their first day.
The Raiders came out swinging on Tuesday and scored the best linebacker in free agency in Cory Littleton. They then made deals with three starters from the Dallas Cowboys and also snagged Nassib. The most impressive thing that general manager Mike Mayock has done is exercise restraint. They went hard after Byron Jones, but after his price got too steep, they bailed out. They could’ve thrown a ridiculous number at Littleton to start free agency, but they stayed patient and got him for an excellent price. Often time, the teams that “win” free agency are the big spenders. However, history has proven that the biggest spenders aren’t always the biggest winners. Raider fans should be really excited about how their team has attacked free agency this year.
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