Despite their young pass rushers getting good reviews so far in training camp, the Las Vegas Raiders seemed determined to add more talent on the defensive line. There have been rumblings that the team is interested in potentially trading for Yannick Ngakoue but if they decide to not go after him, there’s another guy they’re reportedly targeting. Rumors have gone around for the past month that the Raiders are interested in signing former number one overall pick Jadeveon Clowney.
While there are serious injury concerns with him, he wouldn’t cost the Raiders a draft pick. He’s been a free agent for a surprising amount of time considering his talent. However, if the Raiders want him, they do have competition.
Raiders Among 3 Teams Going After Clowney
According to Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports, there are a number of teams vying for Clowney’s services:
The Tennessee Titans’ interest is there, but not at Clowney’s current number, which appears to be set at $17 million for one of his preferred landing spots. Ditto for the Seattle Seahawks and Las Vegas Raiders. There is even some question about the depth of interest within the Raiders, as one source familiar with the organization said there is a “varied” appetite for the Clowney pursuit, depending on whether you’re speaking to head coach Jon Gruden or general manager Mike Mayock. The source said Mayock appears to be squarely in the same “price point” camp as the Titans and Seahawks.
There doesn’t seem to be any team right now that is willing to give Clowney the $17 million a year he wants. Recent rumors suggested that Jon Gruden was the one who really wanted him while Mike Mayock is less sold on the idea. Per Robinson, it’s a three-team race to sign the Pro Bowler:
Add it all up and you basically have a three-team picture between the Seahawks, Titans and Raiders. And of that trio, the Titans and Seahawks make the most sense in terms of being able to add Clowney late in the preseason, because of his familiarity with the schemes and/or coaching staffs.
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Do Raiders Need Defensive Line Help?
The interests in Clowney and Ngakoue seem a little strange for the Raiders. The team has a young but promising offensive line. Clelin Ferrell has been getting solid reviews in training camp and Maxx Crosby was a stud last year. The Raiders also signed Carl Nassib in free agency who is a solid pass rusher. Throw in the fact that Arden Key has been impressive in training camp and there doesn’t seem to be any reason to spend big money on a new face.
This might indicate that the Raiders aren’t completely sold on their young defensive ends having sustained success. It could also mean that the team plans to put Ferrell on the inside while Nassib and Key serve as situational pass rushers. Regardless, if Las Vegas can’t land a star pass rusher, it won’t be a big deal. That said, there’s nothing wrong with having too much talent.