This offseason, the Las Vegas Raiders have done a lot to upgrade their defensive line. They signed Yannick Ngakoue and a litany of defensive tackles. The team hasn’t had a strong pass rush in years and it’s clear new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley plans to fix that.
Signing Ngakoue gives the team a Pro Bowl-level defensive end who is one of the most consistent pass rushers in the NFL. However, in a division with quarterbacks like Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes, the Raiders may need even more firepower. One notable name still on the market is former Los Angeles Chargers pass rusher Melvin Ingram.
The three-time Pro Bowler is coming off his weakest season as a pro due to injury so he hasn’t had many suitors in free agency. His former teammate Casey Hayward is now with the Raiders and believes that he should come to Las Vegas.
Ingram makes a lot of sense with the Raiders. He was coached by Bradley for several years in Los Angeles so he is adept in the defense.
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Should Raiders Sign Ingram?
Out of all the teams that could look at Ingram before the season starts, the Raiders make the most sense. He had a lot of success under Bradley and is very familiar with the AFC West. He’s also been one of the league’s most productive pass-rushers prior to last season.
2020 was concerning as it was Ingram’s first season without a single sack. At 32-years-old, it’s fair to wonder if the former Pro Bowler is in decline after a great career. If anybody would know the answer to that question, it would be Bradley. The fact that the Raiders haven’t appeared to show interest in Ingram yet is a red flag.
Bradley has brought over coaches and other players from his time with the Chargers already. He’s obviously not opposed to trying to recapture some of the magic with his former team. It’s possible that he believes Ingram doesn’t have much left in the tank. That said, it could be worth the risk for the Raiders. At this point, he’s not going to be very expensive. Why not try to add a former star pass rusher on the cheap? It could be because the Raiders are happy with their current group of guys.
Bradley Recently Praised Maxx Crosby
A big reason why the Raiders haven’t shown interest in Ingram could have to do with the current roster. The team does have a few potential impact pass rushers. Maxx Crosby has been solid for Las Vegas over the last two seasons but he could be even better this year. Bradley recently had some strong praise for the defensive end.
“Maxx is a very good player and he’s come in in great shape,” Bradley said. “I like the way he looks, the way he’s practicing. He’s leaned up, he’s fast and I’ve been very impressed with him.”
Ngakoue recently came out and said that Crosby and he could form the NFL’s best duo. If the Raiders have those types of expectations for him, then that could be a reason they haven’t gone after Ingram.