Raiders Strike Deal With Former Bears, Giants Starting CB: Report

prince amukamara

Getty New Raiders CB Prince Amukamara.

The Las Vegas Raiders spent this year’s free agency upgrading their defense, but besides a brief deal with Eli Apple that eventually fell through, the team didn’t address cornerback. Well, it looks like the team has decided to add a different former New York Giants first-round pick. According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, the Raiders have agreed to term with Prince Amukamara.

Amukamara has spent a lot of years as a starter in the NFL and was most recently a part of the Chicago Bears’ stout defense. At age 30, he doesn’t have the same upside he once did but is still a very capable defender. He’s a solid addition for a very young Raiders defensive backfield.

As Garafolo pointed out, the deal isn’t set in stone so it’s still possible that it could go the Apple route, but that seems unlikely at this point.

Will Amukamara Start?

The addition of Amukamara will bring an interesting dynamic to the Raiders’ defensive backfield. Until now, it appeared that Trayvon Mullen and Damon Arnette were slated to be the starters. Considering they have a combined one year of professional experience, that was a cause for concern.

NFL offseason workouts will be very different this year, so it makes sense for the Raiders to add somebody with Amukamara’s experience. He also has a very good chance to start. He started for a very good defense in Chicago and is still just 30. The intent to obviously to have Mullen and Arnette be the cornerbacks of the future for the defense, but both are still very young and there will be growing pains.

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Evaluating Raiders Cornerback Situation

While Amukamara isn’t Byron Jones or Chris Harris Jr., his addition does bring some more stability to the Raiders’ defensive backfield. The plan to have Arnette and Mullen start right out of the gate wasn’t a full proof plan. There are some seriously good wide receivers in the AFC West so relying on young guys could be a mistake. With Nevin Lawson and Amukamara playing cornerback, the Raiders have some solid veteran depth. If Arnette pans out and Mullen improves, the team could a strong cornerback situation in 2020.

LaMarcus Joyner playing nickel cornerback is still a red flag. Luckily, the Raiders drafted potential steal Amik Robertson. It wouldn’t be surprising if Mullen, Arnette and Robertson were all starting for the team at some point in 2020. There’s a combined one year of professional experience between the three, but relying on youth worked out well for the Raiders last season.

The team’s cornerback situation remains their biggest area of concern in 2020. Amukamara’s addition helps, but how the young guys play will determine the team’s success in pass defense. Obviously, the Raiders are pretty confident in what they got or they would’ve been more aggressive in going after a veteran cornerback. Time will tell if the decision pays off for the silver and black.

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