There’s been some chatter about the Las Vegas Raiders possibly adding Richard Sherman this offseason. That would be an excellent move for a team that needs some veteran leadership in their secondary. However, the team has used two top-40 picks in the last two years to bring in cornerbacks. Sherman might expect too much money and playing time for what the Raiders need.
If Sherman is still looking for a big payday, perhaps Las Vegas could look elsewhere. According to Mike Klis, for Denver Broncos cornerback A.J. Bouye is visiting the Raiders.
There was a time when Bouye was considered one of the best cornerbacks in the game. In 2017 with the Jacksonville Jaguars, he was named second-team All-Pro and made the Pro Bowl. He was traded to the Broncos last offseason for a fourth-round pick but was recently let go. He missed six games in 2020 due to the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Bouye hasn’t been a shutdown cornerback in a few years but he’s only 29-years-old.
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Bouye Would Be Good Pickup
For whatever reason, Bouye hasn’t been the same since the 2017 season. He’s had plenty of talent around him. When he was in Jacksonville, he played with guys like Jalen Ramsey, Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue. Denver was banged up on defense last year but he should’ve still had success in a proven system.
Due to his last few years, he’s not going to get a payday in free agency. This could be very good for the Raiders. Whether they like it or not, the team needs to keep giving Damon Arnette and Trayvon Mullen lots of reps. Adding somebody like Sherman could actually take away from their progress. Adding somebody like Bouye could give the Raiders a high-upside veteran who would be the team’s third or fourth cornerback. Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley is the architect of the “Legion of Boom.” That was one of the greatest collections of secondary talent in NFL history. The Raiders don’t have that kind of talent quite yet but signing a guy like Bouye could be a savvy move. He’d likely be very cheap and easily cut if he’s not working out.
Justin Simmons off the Market
The Raiders would have almost certainly had an eye on a different Broncos player this offseason. Unfortunately, star safety Justin Simmons got hit with Denver’s franchise tag. Las Vegas was reportedly interested in him last offseason but he was hit with the tag then, also.
The Raiders have a massive need at safety and Simmons would’ve been a great pickup. He’s young, athletic and very skilled. In the end, he’ll probably sign a long-term deal with the Broncos. Bradley is going to need a good free safety if he’s hoping to fix the Raiders’ defense. He could go after Earl Thomas on the cheap. The troubled superstar was out of the NFL last season after getting cut by the Baltimore Ravens. It would certainly be a risk to sign him but the Bradley could convince the team that he can keep Thomas in line.