Fans of the Las Vegas Raiders had a big reason to be excited on Sunday night when NFL Draft Diamonds reported that the team was signing two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Casey Hayward. It’s a move fans have been waiting for due to his connection to defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, but there has been no news on that front until Sunday. NFL Draft Diamonds reported that the Raiders signed Hayward to a contract. However, they had to come back and retract the report.
Mistakes are often made in this industry and NFL Draft Diamonds was quick to retract the report. However, that didn’t stop many people online from running with it. Fans have been calling for the team to sign Hayward for months but there hasn’t been anything linking the two sides until now. Unfortunately for the excited fans, there doesn’t appear to be anything imminent. According to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the notion that Hayward has signed with the Raiders is “not accurate.”
Bonsignore is a beat writer for the team and very well connected. If anybody knows whether or not the Raiders have signed Hayward, it would be him.
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A Deal Could Still Be on the Table
As of right now, the Raiders don’t appear to have cut a deal with Hayward. However, that doesn’t mean there can’t be one in the future. Las Vegas still has a need for a veteran cornerback after the draft and Hayward is one of the best available.
Plus, he just played under Bradley for four seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers. Signing Hayward makes a lot of sense for the Raiders. Though he’s no longer playing at a Pro Bowl level, he’s still a solid veteran. At 31-years-old, he should still have a couple of more solid years left in the tank. The Raiders are hoping they have their two cornerbacks of the future in Trayvon Mullen and Damon Arnette, but it doesn’t hurt to have a stable veteran who can come in and help shepherd the young players.
Richard Sherman Also an Option?
Even though the draft is in the past and free agency has been open for months, the Raiders have strong options available at cornerback. One player who has been linked to the team previously is Richard Sherman. He spoke with Jon Gruden earlier in the offseason about a potential team-up but he’s been available for months and it doesn’t appear the Raiders have made him an offer.
The five-time Pro Bowler is obviously taking his time but he should be on a team eventually. Sherman recently went on ESPN’s Stephen A’s World and revealed that the Raiders are among the teams that he’s spoken with.
This information doesn’t come as a surprise as he said that he was going to speak to the team in the offseason. Similar to Hayward, Sherman has a strong connection to Gus Bradley. If he can’t get the kind of money he wants, he could just join the Raiders due to his familiarity with their defense and test free agency again next offseason.