After sitting a couple of days out in free agency, the Las Vegas Raiders have agreed to terms with another player. According to Vic Tafur of the Athletic, the team has struck a deal with former Cleveland Browns offensive guard Eric Kush.
Kush confirmed the news on his personal Twitter account.
Kush has bounced around the league quite a bit since getting drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013. Prior to joining the Raiders, he played for seven NFL teams. His most notable tenure was with the Chicago Bears from 2017 to 2018. He started 11 games in two seasons for them. Most recently, he played for the Browns and gave up two sacks in seven starts.
Kush is solid depth addition as the Raiders are loaded at offensive guard. Richie Incognito is an All-Pro level talent on the left side and Gabe Jackson is a rock. Even if Jackson is no longer around, Denzelle Good would probably be a favorite to start over Kush. Regardless, the Raiders have had injury trouble on the offensive line, so this is a good move late in free agency.
What Does This Mean for Gabe Jackson?
Gabe Jackson is a really good guard and is one of the longest-tenured players for this current Raiders team. However, he’s got a monster contract on the books that Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock didn’t sign him to. Considering he was banged up for much of 2019 and saw a decline in play, the team could be questioning if he’s worth the big money.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported recently that the Raiders are shopping Jackson on the trade market. The Detroit Lions were a logical partner as they had a need at guard and a player the Raiders wanted in Darius Slay. However, they ended up trading Slay to the Philadelphia Eagles. It remains to be seen how much teams want to take on that huge contract. That’s likely the biggest thing that’s holding back a trade from happening. It’s also possible that the Raiders still like him and are struggling with pulling the trigger. There’s still a good shot Jackson is the starting right guard for Las Vegas in 2020.
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More Moves to Come?
The Raiders started off free agency in a very productive way by signing a litany of players over the first two days. However, things went really cold for them after day two. They tried to trade for Darius Slay and made a run at some defensive backs, but they’ve clearly done their best to exercise caution.
That said, the roster still needs some work. They have huge needs at cornerback and wide receiver and there aren’t any difference-makers left on the market. The Raiders could still address both positions this free agency, but they aren’t going to find a starter. The team will need to start looking to the draft to find starters at both positions. Luckily, they have two first-round picks to make it happen.