Training camp is starting for teams across the NFL and there’s already been a number of roster moves. One of the notable early moves of training camp has come from the Arizona Cardinals. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, former Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Daryl Worley is signing with the team.
Worley spent the 2018 and 2019 seasons with the Raiders and started in 24 games. The team decided not to bring him back after the 2019 season and he spent time with the Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills. He didn’t last long with any team and sat in free for a while during the season. The Raiders got hit hard with injuries in the secondary so they brought Worley back. He played in two games with the team.
The Cardinals have put together an impressive offseason by signing the likes of J.J. Watt and A.J. Green and trading for Rodney Hudson. After finishing 8-8 in 2020, it looks like Arizona is ready to take a pretty big leap in 2021.
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Raiders Secondary Looking Stronger Than Years Past
Worley was an important player for the Raiders over a two-year stretch but wouldn’t be a starter on most teams. It was a testament to just how weak Las Vegas’ secondary has been over the years. Despite using many high draft picks to address the group, the team has struggled to find long-term solutions.
cThis offseason, the Raiders addressed the secondary aggressively. They drafted safety Trevon Moehrig in the second round and signed former Pro Bowler Casey Hayward. New defensive coordinator Gus Bradley was responsible for putting together one of the best secondaries in NFL history when he was in Seattle. It’ll be interesting if he can work some magic with a Raiders secondary that has mostly struggled since Nnamdi Asomugha left in 2011.
While Hayward was a nice veteran addition, the team will be relying heavily on youth. Third-year cornerback Trayvon Mullen should have one of the starting spots while Hayward battles second-year player Damon Arnette for the other starting spot. The safety spots should be manned by Johnathan Abram and Moehrig, who have a combined two years of experience. Relying on youth on defense hasn’t worked out well for the team in recent years but they don’t have much of a choice.
Moehrig Could Be Key to Defense
Adding a veteran player like Hayward is exciting but Moehrig could be the key to the defense. The Raiders haven’t gotten strong play from their safeties in a long time. Moehrig was generally considered the top safety in the 2021 draft class but slipped to the second round.
Luckily for the Raiders, they were able to trade up and snag him. That could end up being one of the best moves of the draft. Having a capable safety like Moehrig helps everybody on the defense, especially Abram. The former first-round pick will probably never be great in coverage but he’s got playmaking ability. If Moehrig can handle most of the pass coverage duties at safety, that frees up Abram to have a more diverse role on the defense.