A lot of eyes are on the Las Vegas Raiders as they’ve been involved in rumors surrounding some high profile defensive ends but have yet to pull the trigger on a move. The team has made some moves this week but nothing to get the fan base too excited. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Raiders signed veteran defensive end Chris Smith.
Smith has bounced around the NFL over his six-year career. He’s played for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns. He’s not expected to be a needle mover for the Raiders as he’s only started two games in his career.
Over 60 games, Smith has accumulated 8.5 sacks. While he does have a good amount of experience, it appears he was brought in to be a training camp body.
Does This Move Affect Yannick Ngakoue or Jadeveon Clowney Rumors?
While it is noteworthy that the Raiders decided to bring in another defensive end, the signing of Smith shouldn’t affect how the team feels about Yannick Ngakoue or Jadeveon Clowney. Las Vegas has rumored interest in both high profile defensive ends and there’s been no indication that they’ve moved on just yet.
When it comes to both players, the biggest hang-up has to be the cost. In Ngakoue’s case, it doesn’t seem like the Raiders want to trade too much and in Clowney’s case, it doesn’t seem like they want to spend too much. Both men have different skill sets but both could make an impact on the Raiders defense.
There doesn’t seem to be any kind of deadline when either player might find out their fate. With the season closing in, it’s going be hard for Ngakoue or Clowney to get integrated into a new defense. It’ll be interesting to see how the whole thing plays out.
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Rod Marinelli Praises Raiders DL
Even if the Raiders don’t land either Ngakoue or Clowney, the defensive line is in good shape. The team has invested a lot of draft capital and money to beef up the unit. They also hired revered defensive coach Rod Marinelli to lead the group of players. He’s been around a lot of defensive lines over his long career and he had some strong praise for what the Raiders got.
“They’ve got good movement and good skill,” Marinelli said. “And we’ve got nice length up there. I think the football character is something [the Raiders] judge a lot. I think they really love it but, at the end of the day, it’s a show-me game. I’ve always believed that. We will find out what we have when we open the season.
“I like them; it’s still a show-me game.”
There is an abundance of young talent on the defensive line but none of them have proven they can be consistent yet. Clelin Ferrell, Maxx Crosby and Arden Key all have the potential to be productive pass rushers in the NFL. Considering that, maybe the Raiders don’t need to acquire a big name.