Mandatory minicamps are wrapping up for many NFL teams and players won’t have much to do until training camp in late July. Just before players were sent away to enjoy their offseason, a former Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver landed a gig. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, De’mornay Pierson-El will sign with the Denver Broncos.
Pierson-El has been on and off the Raiders’ practice squad several times over the last two seasons. He’s never gotten a chance to see the field during the regular season but the team liked him enough to keep bringing him back. He had a brief stint in the XFL before they went under.
He’ll now get a chance to compete for a roster spot on his former team’s rival. Pierson-El may never see the field much as a receiver but he does have potential as a kick/punt returner. If he can prove to Denver that he can make plays on special teams, perhaps a roster spot is in his future when the season starts up.
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Las Vegas Could Pose Problems for Raiders
With the Raiders finishing up OTAs and minicamps, they now have a long stretch before they hit practice again. The team was lucky last year as the temptations of Las Vegas were mitigated by the pandemic. The strip is back open for business this summer so possible off-the-field issues could arise.
However, the Raiders have made a concerted effort to draft players that they believe won’t have issues avoiding trouble in Las Vegas. So far, the team hasn’t had a problem with any of their young players and there’s no reason to be concerned quite yet. Obviously, a lot of things can still happen but the Raiders have built a strong foundation and could be quick to move off of any player who slips up in the slightest.
Raiders Sounding Confident Heading Into Training Camp
2021 might just be the most important year that Jon Gruden has had since rejoining the Raiders. He’s not likely in danger of getting fired but there will be major changes to the organization if the team fails to make the playoffs again. General manager Mike Mayock certainly has to be feeling the heat and so does quarterback Derek Carr. Those two will be gone before Gruden gets fired.
With all that said, the Raiders do sound very confident. Gruden just said recently that “the expectations are rising” and that he’s excited about the roster they’ve put together. Also, new defensive end Yannick Ngakoue believes that Maxx Crosby and he form the league’s best pass-rushing duo. Everybody looks good when the pads aren’t on but it’s hard to deny the fact that the Raiders do have more talent on defense this year. If new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley can work some magic and the reconstructed offensive line can hold up, Las Vegas actually has a solid team heading into 2021.