Things have been looking up for the Las Vegas Raiders defense but they’re now starting to into some issues at linebacker. Darron Lee, Nicholas Morrow, Javin White and Nick Kwiatkoski have recently gotten banged up. It remains to be seen if those injuries will bleed into the regular season. If so, the Raiders may need to add some help.
There’s been chatter about former Seattle Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright possibly being an option. However, he could prove to be too expensive for the team right now. If he’s not an option, the Raiders could look at some other players. According to ESPN’s Field Yates, Las Vegas brought in veteran linebacker Mark Barron for a visit.
Barron has put together a productive nine-year career but missed all of 2020 with a hamstring injury. The last time he played was in 2019 with the Pittsburgh Steelers where he started in nine games. Prior to that, he spent five seasons with the Los Angeles Rams. He started in 12 games for the 2018 team that made it to the Super Bowl. He also started in that game. This close to the start of the regular season, Barron would be a solid pickup for the Raiders.
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Barron Also Has Experience as a DB
Over the last several years, Barron has mostly lined up at linebacker but he didn’t start that way. He came into the NFL as a strong safety out of Alabama. He was the No. 7 overall pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012 and played in the secondary for them.
Eventually, he was traded to the Rams where they had him spend time at safety and weakside linebacker. For the Raiders, they would likely only aim to have Barron playing at linebacker. Their safeties are healthy right now and there’s some decent depth there. That said, it’s good to have players who can do multiple things. Out of the linebackers the Raiders could sign before the season, Barron would certainly be one of the better ones if he’s fully recovered from the previous hamstring injury.
Should Raiders Hold off on Signing a Linebacker?
As of now, it’s unclear how hurt the Raiders’ linebackers are. Darron Lee was put on the team’s Reserve/Injured list so he’ll likely be out for some time. The team has yet to give any updates on how White and Morrow are doing. The former didn’t have a guaranteed spot on the roster but it looked like the latter was slated to start.
Until the Raiders know the extent of their injuries, there’s no need to rush and sign a linebacker. Kwiatkoski’s injury doesn’t appear too serious and Cory Littleton is still healthy. That said, if Morrow is set to miss multiple weeks, signing Wright or Barron would be a good move. The Raiders defense needs to improve this season but it will be hard to make that happen if the linebacker corps struggles.