The Las Vegas Raiders have decided to add some size to their quarterback room. The team announced on Friday that they’ve signed Kyle Sloter, who is listed at 6-foot-5 and 218 pounds, to a reserve/future deal.
Sloter came into the NFL in 2017 as an undrafted free agent for the Denver Broncos. The fourth-year journeyman has also played for the Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears, though he has mostly been a practice squad player and has yet to play in an NFL game.
The most appealing thing about Sloter is his size. He’s bigger than any other quarterback currently on the Raiders roster and also offers some versatility having played wide receiver and running back in college at Northern Colorado from 2015-16.
Las Vegas appears set at quarterback with Derek Carr, Marcus Mariota and Nathan Peterman, meaning Sloter will have a difficult time making the team. However, the 26-year-old could end up being a candidate for the Raiders practice squad heading into next season.
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Will Raiders Bring Back Marcus Mariota?
Carr proved once again to be quite durable this season. He started every game for the Raiders in 2020 but did miss most of the Week 15 game against the Los Angeles Chargers with a groin injury. In seven seasons, Carr has only missed two starts. The team invested a lot of money into Mariota this past offseason to serve as Carr’s No. 2, but he only played in one game all season.
It’s becoming increasingly important for teams to carry competent backups at quarterback but the Raiders might want to use the Mariota money to free up some cap space. They would add $10-plus million in cap room if they cut him, according to Spotrac.
The former No. 2 overall pick was impressive when he relieved Carr against the Chargers, but he might be too pricey as a backup. Plus, there are some teams that might have more use for him as a potential starter or gadget player. If the Raiders don’t have plans for Mariota to play meaningful snaps in 2021, they should let him go.
Nathan Peterman Hitting Free Agency
Peterman, 26, was healthy all year for the Raiders in 2020 but barely saw the field. He did spend a good chunk of the season as Carr’s backup while Mariota was on injured reserve, even getting a brief shot to play in the Week 12 blowout loss to the Atlanta Falcons. The former fifth-rounder completed three of five passes for 25 yards and took a pair of sacks.
Everybody knows that head coach Jon Gruden is a fan of Peterman, but he’s not going to be a starting quarterback anytime soon. That said, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Las Vegas brought him back this offseason. He’s spent two years in the system and it’s safe to assume that he’s got a solid understanding of it. Having him as a third-stringer or practice squad quarterback could be a good call.
Peterman is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at the start of the new league year on March 17 — also the first day of free agency and the same day Sloter’s reserve contract takes effect — but the Raiders should bring him back. It’s unlikely he ever sees the field, but it’s valuable to have players on the roster who understand Gruden’s complicated offense in case of an emergency or injury.