With free agency and the draft long in the past, the Las Vegas Raiders‘ roster is pretty much set heading into training camp. However, they could still be looking to add some help on the defense. Responding to a question of if either Maurice Hurst or P.J. Hall were on the hot seat, Vic Tafur of The Athletic gave some new insight:
I think Hall definitely is. I haven’t had a chance to talk to [Rod] Marinelli because of the pandemic and restricted access, so I don’t know what he thinks about Hurst. He is probably safe, though I keep hearing they want to add another DL at some point.
The Raiders signed three interior defensive linemen in Maliek Collins, Daniel Ross and Mike Panasiuk. Two of them are former players for new defensive line coach Rod Marinelli. That could be bad news for some of the incumbents.
Could Hurst or Hall Get Cut?
First of all, if the Raiders don’t like Hurst, then there’s got to be something going on behind the scenes. He’s been one of their best defensive players these past two seasons. Pro Football Focus ranked him among the best interior pass rushers from Week 9 to 17 last season. It’s hard to imagine the Raiders will just cut loose that kind of talent.
However, Hall could be in serious trouble. General manager Mike Mayock already put him on blast during the NFL Combine and there have been rumors he’s on the trade block. The 2018 second-round pick hasn’t been bad, but he hasn’t lived up to his high draft status. It would not be a surprise if he was not on the roster when the season starts.
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Potential DL Targets on the Market
Tafur didn’t specify if the Raiders were looking for a defensive end, a defensive tackle or both. If it’s a defensive end they are looking for, there is some serious talent still available. Jadeveon Clowney remains unsigned as he’s having a hard time getting a contract he likes. However, the Raiders likely aren’t the team to give it to him as it has been reported that they aren’t interested in him.
Everson Griffin is out there and while he’s much older than Clowney, he did accumulate eight sacks last season. He could have another solid season in the tank if he’s willing to come on a one-year deal. There has yet to be any reports linking the Raiders to Griffin.
If it’s a defensive tackle they’re looking for, Marcell Dareus is still out there. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been the same since his incredible 2014 season. Damon Harrison and Mike Daniels are a couple of proven veterans who are still sitting there in free agency. Cory Liuget spent time with the Raiders last season. Perhaps the team could give him another shot as he’s already familiar with the defense. At this point, the talent is sparse, but it couldn’t hurt to add a strong veteran presence.