The Las Vegas Raiders have chugged through this offseason mostly unscathed but they are starting to run into some injury issues. Just in the last week, linebackers Nick Kwiatkoski, Nicholas Morrow and Javin White have all gotten banged up. The extent of all of their injuries is currently unknown but it’s certainly cause for concern.
If Morrow is forced to miss significant time, the Raiders could be in serious trouble. The plan has been for him to start at middle linebacker for the team and he’s been impressive this offseason. He hurt his foot during a joint practice against the Los Angeles Rams and it’s possible he has to miss games. The Raiders recently hosted former Seattle Seahawks Pro Bowl linebacker K.J. Wright for a visit. He left without a deal but the team could give him another call if the prognosis on Morrow isn’t good.
According to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Raiders still have interest in Wright but money could be an issue.
Wright is a logical target given his relationship with Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, for whom he played two years in Seattle. The Raiders are clearly interested, now more than ever given the injuries.
But while the 10-year veteran makes sense, a person with knowledge of the situation indicated money is a factor in terms of Wright’s asking price and the Raiders’ spending comfort.
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Should Raiders Sign Wright?
The Raiders only have so much money to spend with a bit over $2.2 million in cap space. The team would need Wright to take a pay cut if they hope to sign him. Luckily, there’s a reason he’s still in free agency. Nobody wants to pay him a premium and that should work in Las Vegas’ favor.
He’s still a very good linebacker but teams don’t want to pay him for whatever reason. Landing a player like Wright just before the season could be a big move for the Raiders to make. He’s a proven linebacker and has played under Gus Bradley before. If the Raiders are worried about Morrow, signing Wright should be a big priority.
Raiders LB Group Was Looking Promising Before Injuries
For years, the Raiders have struggled at linebacker. For the first time in a long time, the group was starting to look solid and deep. Morrow has been a rising playmaker for years and it looked like he finally hit his stride last season. Expectations for him are pretty high.
Cory Littleton is coming off a down year but should play better with Bradley coaching the defense. Second-year player Tanner Muse has shown improvement and could fight for playing time. Javin White was another young player showing signs before going down with an injury in the preseason game against the Rams. Kwiatkoski is a solid veteran who should provide nice depth behind Morrow if he’s healthy. It’s clear the biggest issue facing this group is health. If they can stay healthy, the talent is there to have a good season.