With Jon Gruden revealing on Wednesday that the injury to Nicholas Morrow will keep him out for an unspecified amount of time, it was clear that the Las Vegas Raiders needed to add a linebacker. They kicked the tires on K.J. Wright and Mark Barron but it looks like they’ve decided to look towards a player who was already on a roster. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Raiders have made a trade with the Carolina Panthers for linebacker Denzel Perryman.
Perryman has yet to play a single down with the Panthers as he was signed as a free agent in the offseason. Per Schefter, the two teams will be swapping draft picks with the Raiders getting a seventh-round pick and the Panthers getting a sixth. It was a small price for Las Vegas to pay to ensure that their linebacker depth is solid heading into the regular season.
Prior to signing with the Panthers this offseason, Perryman spent six seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers.
ALL the latest Raiders news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Raiders newsletter here!
Perryman Reuniting With Gus Bradley
Perryman is the perfect guy to come in for the Raiders and temporality replace Morrow until he gets healthy. He was coached for four years under current Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. There should be a very small learning curve for Perryman, who is familiar with the defense the team plans to run. He’s also played against the Raiders twice a year for six years.
In addition to reuniting with Bradley, he gets to reunite with former Chargers linebackers coach Richard Smith and former teammates Casey Hayward and Darius Philon. It should be an easy transition for Perryman to make. He started 51 of 69 career games with the Chargers. He’s not a huge playmaker as he only has three career interceptions and five career sacks.
Will Perryman Start at MLB?
Though the Raiders didn’t give up a lot to get him, they wouldn’t have traded for Perryman if they didn’t see him having a substantial role on the defense. Morrow was supposed to start at middle linebacker for Las Vegas but he could be out for some time due to a foot injury. Nick Kwiatkoski started at that position for the team last year but he’s also banged up. Also, the Raiders don’t appear convinced that he should be a starter.
Young players Tanner Muse and Divine Deablo could fight for a starting role but it would be a lot to ask one of those two to wear the green dot and lead the defense. Perryman has experience as a starting middle linebacker in Bradley’s defense so he’s the logical choice to start for now. The Chargers always had a solid defense under Bradley and Perryman was a part of those defenses. He’ll certainly get his chances to start before Morrow is able to return. The fact that the Raiders felt like they needed to make a trade doesn’t bode well for Morrow’s chances of returning anytime soon. Hopefully, Perryman has enough time to acclimate to his new team.