Based on their free-agent activity, it’s clear that the Las Vegas Raiders wanted to revamp their linebacker corps. They moved on from their two main starters and brought in two new ones. However, they could use some more depth at the position.
Will Compton was a guy who came in about halfway through last season and found his way to the starting lineup. The veteran was actually one of the better linebackers for the team, but they have yet to re-sign him. While there hasn’t been any movement yet, Compton posted a cryptic tweet recently.
The skull and crossbones emoji is commonly associated with the Raiders. Obviously, nothing is set in stone as Compton is trying to keep his cards close to the vest. That said, it wouldn’t be all that surprising if the Raiders brought him back. He’s a strong, veteran presence and played well last season. He deserves another shot with the team.
Nick Kwiatkoski Can’t Wait to Play for Raiders
If Compton does return, he won’t be coming back to start. The Raiders brought in Nick Kwiatkoski and Cory Littleton this offseason, so the plan is to have those two guys take on the bulk of the work. Kwiatkoski was most recently a member of the Chicago Bears where he was able to impress even though he wasn’t the full-time starter. He’s ready for the new opportunity with the silver and black.
“It’s an opportunity that I feel like I’ve earned,” Kwiatkoski said, per Tashan Reed of The Athletic. “I’m excited to see what I can do as the full-time guy. I’ve been through a lot of different changes, position changes and ups and downs in Chicago. So, to come in on Day 1 and be able to have a full season under my belt and show what I can do, I’m excited about it.
“I can’t wait.”
Considering how bad the Raiders have been at the position over the last several years, they probably can’t wait either.
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Kwiatkoski Will Play in the Middle
While Littleton is the more talented of the two, Kwiatkoski will be the guy leading the defense and he thinks he will fit that role nicely.
“That’s the role that I played in Chicago,” Kwiatkoski said. “I wore the green dot for the majority of the time that I was playing. I’m very comfortable with that and I’m looking forward to it. … Being in the middle of the defense, it’s what I’m used to.
“I’m excited to get out there and be a leader.”
The Raiders haven’t lacked leadership, they’ve lacked defense. Tahir Whitehead and Vontaze Burfict were strong leaders, but they weren’t talented enough to slow down offenses. Fortunately, Kwiatkoski is a much better fit in the modern NFL. The former safety excels in pass coverage and should be a big asset when going against good tight ends. Having a pair of very good linebackers should do wonders for the Raiders defense.