The Las Vegas Raiders have upgraded in a lot of areas this offseason but cornerback remains a question mark. The team was rumored to have interest in big names like Stephon Gilmore and J.C. Jackson but both of them signed elsewhere. Las Vegas did add Rock Ya-Sin in a trade with the Indianapolis Colts but he hasn’t shown enough in his career to prove he can keep pace with the brutal passing attacks in the AFC West.
It might be wise for the Raiders to consider bringing in another veteran cornerback. James Bradberry has been a popular name linked to the team due to the fact he played under defensive coordinator Patrick Graham over the last two seasons. He was a Pro Bowler as recently as 2020 so he could be a difference-maker and a starter for the Raiders.
The only thing holding Las Vegas back from taking a look at him was that the New York Giants were trying to trade him before releasing him. The team wasn’t able to find a suitor for him and decided to finally make the call on releasing him.
According to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Raiders are “expected to be players” for Bradberry in free agency.
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Raiders May Need to Wait & See What Happens
Bradberry makes a ton of sense on the Raiders. He’s best suited for a man coverage scheme and has a deep understanding of Graham’s defense. However, the Raiders likely wouldn’t be able to pay him much. The team has close to no cap space left currently and there aren’t any obvious moves they can make to create some.
That said, once June 2 arrives, the Raiders will get close to $20 million in cap space as Cory Littleton and Carl Nassib’s contracts come off the books. The team didn’t have a first or second-round pick so they don’t need to worry about paying draft picks too much. If Bradberry lasts in free agency until the Raiders clear cap space, he could be a logical option. Last year, Casey Hayward was signed later in the offseason and ended up being the team’s best cornerback. Perhaps Bradberry could have a similar story with the Raiders this season.
Trayvon Mullen Injury Increases Need for CB
If the Raiders don’t make any more moves at cornerback, Ya-Sin and Trayvon Mullen will be the likely starters. The team didn’t draft a cornerback so there are unlikely to be any surprises in training camp. One thing that should be concerning for the team is Mullen’s status. He missed most of last season with a foot/toe injury and recently revealed on social media that he received surgery.
There’s been no word on what exactly the surgery was or how bad the injury is, but it’s always a cause for concern when a key player goes under the knife.
If the Raiders aren’t confident he’ll be ready to go by training camp, the need to add a player like Bradberry increases. If the team doesn’t end up making a run at the former Pro Bowler, it likely means that they are confident in Mullen.