After the deal with Eli Apple fell through for the Las Vegas Raiders, it looked like they might stay put and skip on adding a veteran cornerback. That didn’t last as the team recently announced that they’ve signed nine-year veteran Prince Amukamara. While Apple is younger and still has more upside, Amukamara is arguably a more proven talent. Plus, according to ESPN’s Field Yates, he’s going to cost a lot less money.
That’s seriously cheap for a player who has started for one of the best defenses in the NFL over the last three seasons. The former first-round pick has never made a Pro Bowl, but he’s a solid player who could feasibly start across Trayvon Mullen for the Raiders. $1.05 million for a potential starter could be a serious steal for the team. And if he doesn’t start, he’s a cheap depth player with loads of experience. The move is a win-win for Las Vegas.
How Amukamara Fits in With Raiders
Considering Amukamara caught zero interceptions last season, he should fit in just fine with the Raiders. The team had the fourth-worst interception total of any NFL defense last season with a total of nine. First-round pick Damon Arnette also isn’t known for creating a lot of turnovers.
Regardless, the Raiders now have several players who should be able to make it harder for quarterbacks to complete passes. Though he doesn’t catch a lot of interceptions, Amukamara is a more than capable defender. He’s even garnered the praise of one of his former coaches.
“He’s played consistent and he’s played well,” Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano told reporters in December, per Vic Tafur of The Athletic. “Any time those (corners) can get up and mess with the timing of the offense and throw that off and take away the guy that may be the first read … it’s going to help your rush and your defense. So that’s important.”
Amukamara did get cut loose by Chicago heading into the offseason, but that was mainly due to his big contract. He’s a strong veteran presence to team up with a very young group of cornerbacks. At 30 years old, he doesn’t have too many years left of being an effective cornerback, but he should be able to at least give the Raiders one strong season. Whether or not he starts over Arnette remains to be seen, but he’s a really strong CB3 if that’s what ends up happening.
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Amukamara Will Bring Extravagant Celebrations to Raiders
In the event that the Raiders defense scores a touchdown this season, they now have the man to lead the celebration.
The silver and black scored two defensive touchdowns last season, but the celebrations for both weren’t very memorable. With the move to Las Vegas happening this year, it’s time to inject the team with some style. There’s no doubt Amukamara is already thinking of the choreography for the Raiders’ first defensive touchdown celebration.