Ex-Raiders Cornerback Signs With Texans

darius phillips

Getty Former Las Vegas Raiders CB Darius Phillips.

The Las Vegas Raiders continue to try and figure out long-term plans for their secondary. Last year’s secondary looked very different than 2021’s and next season’s secondary is set to look much different than 2022’s. Darius Phillips was one signing from last year who was expected to compete for a starting spot.

Instead, the Raiders decided to cut him prior to the start of the season. He never got a chance to play a regular season game with the team. He eventually landed on his feet with the Denver Broncos and continues to get work. The Houston Texans announced that they have signed Phillips to a contract.

The veteran cornerback spent the first four years of his career with the Cincinnati Bengals before moving on to Las Vegas. He has started in 10 career games. The Texans have one of the weaker rosters in the NFL so there will be an opportunity to play. New head coach DeMco Ryans is going to want to build a top defense so if Phillips can stand out in training camp, he’ll get the chance to play a lot of snaps.

Are Raiders Adding Another CB?

The Raiders left the 2023 draft without finding a clear starting cornerback. Fourth-round pick Jakorian Bennett could have a bright future but it’s unlikely he’ll be taking a lot of defensive snaps early as a rookie unless he takes training camp by storm. According to Spotrac, the Raiders still have $16 million in salary cap space.

That gives them some money left to spend on a cornerback or two if they aren’t satisfied with what they have. Marcus Peters is the biggest name left on the market and his ties to the Raiders make him an interesting option. The Oakland, California, native grew up a fan of the team. Casey Hayward was recently released by the Atlanta Falcons. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that the Raiders were interested in signing him last season. Now that he’s a free agent again, a reunion could be in order. There are plenty of good options remaining in free agency so if the team feels like they need cornerback help, they should be able to find it.

Who Will Start at CB for Raiders?

If the Raiders stay put and decide against making further additions at cornerback, they’ll be putting a lot of pressure on some players they signed in free agency. Things can change in training camp but David Long Jr., Duke Shelley and Nate Hobbs are the most likely trio that will be starting. Long has only started in 10 games while Shelley has only started in 11. That’s not a ton of starting experience. Hobbs is the youngest of the three but has started in 20 games.

The Raiders must be relying on having a dominant pass rush. Maxx Crosby is one of the best pass rushers in the NFL while Chandler Jones knows how to get after the quarterback. The team also added Tyree Wilson with the No. 7 pick, which should give the pass rush a boost. If the Raiders can’t get after the quarterback in 2023, it could be a long season for the secondary.

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Ernie Cabrera
Ernie Cabrera
4 months ago

Marcus Peters makes sense if it doesn’t hurt the cap too much. He can still play & could be a mentor for the younger players. I believe his play would help the team. The Raiders have had a history, especially on Defense of adding supposed over the hill players who end up becoming huge assets, even if it’s only for a couple of years. I see 2 problems, 1) He’s not an ex-Patriot & 2) He’s not afraid to speak his mind. It doesn’t seem as though McDaniels is able to handle that (See Carr& Waller). He’s the type of player that you totally hate if his on the opposing team, but if he’s on your team, you love him! That fits the old Raider mold!