With Daryl Worley heading to the Dallas Cowboys, the Las Vegas Raiders will head into 2020 with two new starters at cornerback. Before last season, Worley and former first-round pick Gareon Conley were supposed to form a solid duo. That didn’t end up being the case and the team traded Conley to the Houston Texans for a third-round pick. The veteran cornerback started in Houston but wasn’t overly impressive. This has led to the team giving Conley some bad news, according to Aaron Wilson at the Houston Chronicle:
“The Texans aren’t picking up a fifth-year club option for veteran corner Gareon Conley, according to a league source not authorized to speak publicly.
Conley remains in the Texans’ plans, per sources, and the team is pleased with his play and how he fits into their locker room. The fifth-year option was for $10.244 million.”
Declining Conley’s fifth-year option isn’t exactly a vote of confidence. It sounds like the Texans do like him, but that fifth year would’ve cost a pretty penny for an average to below-average cornerback. It’s very possible that Conley hits free agency next year and he probably won’t be getting close to $10 million a year.
Raiders Got Tanner Muse With Texans’ Pick
Because of the Conley trade, the Raiders ended getting the 100th pick in the draft. With that selection, the team selected Tanner Muse out of Clemson. The plan is to play Muse as a linebacker, but he’ll be making most of his impact on special teams. Taking a specialist in the third round seems high. The Raiders must believe that he’s going to eventually make an impact as a linebacker.
Muse played safety in college, but his skill set translates better to linebacker in the NFL. He ran a 4.41 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. If he can keep that speed after he adds some more size, he would have very fast for a linebacker. Muse has got a lot to learn, but he’s certainly an interesting project.
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Raiders Replace Ohio State CB With Ohio State CB
Conley was highly touted coming out of Ohio State and was considered a steal for the Raiders when they drafted him. Unfortunately, he never lived up to his status as a first-round pick. Injuries and inconsistent play were what made the team sour on him.
Las Vegas will now look to another former Buckeye to fill the hole Conley left. The Raiders took Damon Arnette with the 19th pick of the first round. While he doesn’t boast some of the athletic traits that made Conley a first-round pick, his competitiveness and experience could give him the edge. The Raiders have struggled to find a consistent number cornerback since Nnamdi Asomugha left the team. They’ve certainly tried and have invested a lot in cornerbacks. Arnette is just the most recent attempt to fix the position with a high draft pick. Many considered the move a reach, but maybe Arnette is just the guy to buck the trend of drafting mediocre cornerbacks in the first round for the Raiders.