The Las Vegas Raiders have undergone a bit of an overhaul on defense. The linebacker corps and secondary are going to look quite a bit different than they did last season. The team welcomed new cornerbacks David Long Jr., Duke Shelley, Jakorian Bennett and Brandon Facyson this offseason so there could be some players from last year’s team that get forced out.
2020 fourth-round pick Amik Robertson could be on the outside looking in. He was solid last season and was the only Raiders cornerback to record an interception. However, he’s very similar to Shelley. They are both hyper-aggressive cornerbacks who are under 5-foot-10. The Raiders may view one of them as expendable and Robertson, who is the only remaining player from the team’s 2020 draft class, would be the most likely to get let go as he wasn’t brought in by the current regime.
Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report did a list of the Raiders’ top candidates to get cut or traded and Roberston made an appearance:
Virtually none of Robertson’s $1.1 million salary is guaranteed, so he could be traded or released with little cost to the team.
It’s never a bad idea to have depth at cornerback, and Robertson’s play last year should ensure he isn’t released. But the Raiders also have 10 corners under contract, so if they are comfortable with someone lower on the depth chart such as Bennett or Sam Webb, then Robertson should become a trade chip.
Robertson Still Has a Chance to Stick Around
Robertson was one of the returning players to earn the respect of the Raiders’ new coaching staff last year. He carved out a role and made some big plays. The team previously tried to use him as a nickel corner but he’s better on the outside. If he wasn’t 5-foot-8, he may be one of the better cornerbacks in the NFL right now.
Robertson doesn’t quit and is one of the more aggressive players on the team’s defense. Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham likes to utilize aggressive cornerbacks. If Roberston puts together another strong training camp, the Raiders will likely figure out how to keep him and Shelley. The cornerback isn’t exactly breaking the bank so it’s not cost prohibitive for the team to keep him. While he certainly has to put together a good offseason to keep his roster spot, he has proven in the past that he can do enough to earn a role.
Raiders Could Still Add More CBs
Robertson could start feeling the heat more if the Raiders decide to add more cornerback help. There area still some strong options on the market so it’s possible the team will add another cornerback or two. As of right now, the Raiders don’t have a clear No. 1 cornerback.
At this point in free agency, it’s hard to imagine they’ll still be able to find one. Marcus Peters is the closest thing to a No. 1 cornerback on the market but he’s 30 now and has dealt with significant injuries in recent years. If he’s healthy and can stay healthy, he could be a starting cornerback for the Raiders. Other than Peters, most of the options in free agency would likely be added for depth purposes.