With mandatory minicamps wrapping up for the Las Vegas Raiders, the players are about to get several weeks off without formal practices. While players relax and get ready for training camp, the work doesn’t stop for general manager Dave Ziegler and the coaching staff. The Raiders are clearly looking to win a lot of games immediately so they will continue to try and improve the roster.
The defense added some notable pieces like Chandler Jones and Rock Ya-Sin in recent months but there could still be some holes, especially at safety. 2021 second-round pick Trevon Moehrig played well as a rookie and will hold one of the safety spots. It’s anybody’s guess who will start in the strong safety spot. The Raiders missed on Tyrann Mathieu but there’s another successful safety on the market. Tashan Reed of The Athletic named three-time Pro Bowler Landon Collins as a possible fit:
The Raiders have eight safeties on the roster, but Tre’von Moehrig is the only one who’s a surefire starter. It’s a two-way competition between Johnathan Abram and Duron Harmon for the other starting job, and the rest of the safeties are fighting for positioning in the rotation. Collins spent last season as a linebacker-safety hybrid and has also started at free safety and strong safety during his career. Graham was on the defensive coaching staff for two of Collins’ seasons with the Giants, so there’s some familiarity there.
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Collins Makes Sense for Raiders
Collins hasn’t been to a Pro Bowl since 2018 but he had a run as one of the best safeties in the NFL. A big reason for his decline has been due to injury. He’s missed 13 games over the last two seasons. Considering he remains a free agent, the Raiders could get him on a reasonable deal.
What works in Collins’ favor is that he’s worked with defensive coordinator Patrick Graham in the past. He was just a defensive line coach when they were both with the New York Giants but the two should have familiarity with each other. Graham saw Collins got to work during two of his Pro Bowl seasons. If he believes that the safety can be an upgrade over the current group, he should push for the team to sign him.
Raiders Not Using Extra Cap Space on Free Agent Yet
When June 1 arrived, the Raiders opened up about $20 million in cap space. With that extra money, it was figured they could try to add a notable free agent or two. The team recently decided to use a chunk of that on a contract extension for Hunter Renfrow but it remains to be seen how much current cap space that new contract will eat up.
The Raiders should still have some money to use if they choose to. The roster is looking good but there are some holes. The offensive line could be better and there are some weak spots in the defensive backfield. The team got their closest look yet at the roster during mandatory minicamps. Now that they have a better grasp of their players, it’ll be interesting to see if they decide to make more roster moves.