The Las Vegas Raiders added several notable players this offseason. From future Hall of Famer Jason Witten to potential sleeper Nick Kwiatkowski, the team spared no expense. They also had a litany of draft picks in the first five rounds of the recent draft. Needless to say, there has been a big influx in talent this offseason.
Amukamara has been underappreciated for much of his career, a fact exemplified by the Chicago Bears making him a cap casualty this offseason despite his overall grade of 81.0 for the team just two seasons ago. He’s been a consistent starting option throughout his career, never dipping below a 66.3 overall grade during his eight years in the NFL. That stability and veteran presence is something the Raiders should be able to make real use of in 2020, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Amukamara holds down one of the starting jobs outside for much of the year despite recent investments in players like Trayvon Mullen and Damon Arnette.
The Raiders have a very young secondary and it was necessary for them to add some more veteran help. Considering the contract the team gave Amukamara, the decision to bring him could pay off in a big way.
Signing Amukamara Named Among Best Recent Moves
After the draft, available talent on the market can be pretty sparse. Finding a player of Amukamara’s caliber for so cheap could be a huge steal. According to Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report, signing Amukamara was one of the best decisions a team has made since the draft:
Amukamara has the most starting experience within the Raiders’ cornerback group. Arnette and Mullen can learn from the veteran as the former earns or waits his turn to enter the starting lineup.
Jon Gruden clearly loves his former first-round picks and Amukamara is no exception. He just spent a pretty long stint as a starter for the stout Chicago Bears defense. That’s not an easy job to earn and considering the Raiders have had one of the weaker pass defenses over the last few years, Amukarma should be a nice upgrade.
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Other Underrated Raiders Players
Amukamara isn’t the only free-agent addition the Raiders made that could pay off in a big way. Linebacker Cory Littleton will get most of the hype coming into this season due to his status as a former Pro Bowler. However, Nick Kwiatkowski could have an even bigger impact.
No, he’s not as talented as Littleton, but he’ll be the one wearing the green dot on his helmet. It’ll be Kwiatkowski’s job to lead the defense. He only had a chance to do it for a handful of games last season but could thrive with the added responsibility. He could end up being a serious game-changer for the Raiders on defense.