This offseason, the Las Vegas Raiders made the decision to embrace youth at safety. The team is set to start Johnathan Abram and Trevon Moehrig at the position. The two have a combined 14 NFL starts and their backups are also inexperienced.
With the season starting up, the Raiders have decided it would be wise to add some veteran depth to their secondary. SportsTrust Advisors announced on Monday that Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is headed to Las Vegas’ practice squad.
The Raiders actually brought Clinton-Dix in for a workout earlier in the offseason but didn’t end up offering him a deal. There was a time when he was one of the most promising young defensive backs in the NFL. He was a first-round pick by the Green Bay Packers in 2014 and a Pro Bowler in 2016. For whatever reason, he just hasn’t been able to recapture the success he had had early in his career.
Injuries haven’t been an issue so it’s hard to know exactly why he’s having trouble staying with a team. The Raiders could provide him an opportunity to revamp his career. As noted earlier, the team is young in the secondary. If the young guys struggled, a player like Clinton-Dix is valuable. At 28-years-old, he should have plenty of juice left in the tank.
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Moehrig Dubbed ‘Quiet Assassin’ by Teammate
The Raiders had a massive need at safety heading into the draft and may have found this year’s best one in Trevon Moehrig. He slipped down in the second round, which opened up the door for the team. If he’s as good as most think he is, he could be a very important piece for the silver and black. He’s certainly caught the attention of Pro Bowl tight end Darren Waller.
“A very calm presence about him,” Waller said of Moehrig. “He doesn’t have to be loud or anything, but at the same time he just lets his play do the talking. Those are the kind of guys that I just respect from the gate. It’s a very ego-driven game as you can see by everybody fighting and everything, but you got guys like him that can just be quiet assassins. Just go out there and handle their jobs and I just respect that so much. I’m just so excited to see him get out there and just patrol centerfield and go red line to red line.”
Moehrig needs to adjust to the NFL game quickly as he’ll be a focal point of the Raiders’ defense from day one.
Will Abram Step up This Season?
Abram quickly became a fan favorite for the Raiders fan base due to his swagger and reckless playing style. However, that recklessness has quickly turned into a massive issue. He missed all but one game during his rookie year due to inury. He played in 14 games last season but struggled greatly.
Abram is set to have a very different role in new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s defense. The hope will be that the coach can figure out how to utilize the former first-round pick by keeping him closer to the line of scrimmage. Bradley has a great track record of developing safeties so perhaps all Abram needed was a better person to coach him.