Moves are starting to pour in for the Las Vegas Raiders ahead of free agency. The team has already moved on from fullback Alec Ingold and linebacker Cory Littleton with more moves to happen. It appears the team has also decided on another player headed to free agency.
Though Darius Philon isn’t under contract for next season, he seemed like a prime candidate to get re-signed. The defensive tackle was a solid player for the Raiders and proved to be a good interior pass rusher. However, it’s now unlikely that he’ll be brought back. Philon posted a cryptic message on Twitter that simply said “it’s just business.”
This tweet could mean a number of things as Philon could be referring to something that has nothing to do with football. It could also be a reaction to Littleton getting cut or Incgold not being re-signed. That said, it seems like it’s most likely a reaction to the news that the Raiders won’t try to re-sign him in free agency.
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Philon Coming off Brutal Injury
Had Gus Bradley been retained as defensive coordinator, there’s a strong chance Philon comes back. He was coached by Bradley when he was with the Chargers and then followed him to Las Vegas. Philon was always going to have a hard time getting a new contract with the new management considering he suffered a torn patellar tendon in Week 18 of the season.
It’s unclear where he is in his recovery and it’s possible he’s not ready to go at the start of the season. Philon showed enough last season to where he’ll likely be signed by a team. Chances are he reunites with Bradley on the Indianapolis Colts. If he remains unsigned and the Raiders don’t love what they have at defensive tackle, perhaps they’ll take another look at Philon.
Raiders Sign OT Jackson Barton to Contract Extension
The Raiders aren’t only in the process of moving on from players from last season. They’re also bringing back some free agents. According to ESPN’s Field Yates, offensive tackle Jackson Barton is signing a one-year contract extension.
Barton has been in the NFL since 2019 when was a seventh-round pick of the Indianapolis Colts but never suited up for a game until this season. He played in two games for the Raiders in 2021. He didn’t make any notable contributions but new head coach Josh McDaniels must have seen something he liked from the tackle. Raiders defensive coordinator Patrick Graham should have some familiarity with Barton as they both spent time with the New York Giants over the last two seasons.
The Raiders have major needs across the offensive line so there will be a lot of opportunity to make the roster. Barton isn’t going to be in line to start at right tackle but could fight for a rotational spot. It’s hard to know for sure how new offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo will go about things.