The Las Vegas Raiders have struggled on the defensive side of the ball so far this season but they’ve stayed put and refrained from making big moves. If the defensive struggles continue, that’s going to have to change. One change they could make is trying to add some help at linebacker.
According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the Raiders are hosting former Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks linebacker Mychal Kendricks.
Kendricks was once a standout linebacker with the Eagles and even won a Super Bowl with the team. He made his way to the Cleveland Browns but was released before he could ever play because he got into legal trouble. He found a new home in Seattle and in 17 or 18 games. Unfortunately, injuries hurt his time there. He tore his ACL during the last game of the 2019 season and it takes time to recover from that.
This isn’t the first time that Kendricks has been brought up as an option for the Raiders. In fact, the team almost signed him back in August but the two sides couldn’t agree to terms. Now that’s it’s been over a month, perhaps they can agree to a deal. He could bring a boost to a struggling linebacker corps.
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Raiders Getting Disappointing Returns From Their LB Corps
For the first time in a long time, there was actually some excitement surrounding the Raiders’ linebacker corps. They spent good money on Nick Kwiatkoski and Cory Littleton, who were both expected to be major upgrades. That hasn’t been the case quite yet.
Kwiatkoski has been banged up all season and has already missed two games. Littleton doesn’t look nearly as effective as he was with the Rams. He’s supposed to be a coverage linebacker but he’s given up 14 completions for 146 yards. Littleton is also supposed to be a strong tackler but he’s missed nine in four games. That’s definitely not what the Raiders were hoping for.
The team traded for Raekwon McMillian shortly before the season started but he hasn’t made an impact either. While all of these new players do deserve to have time to learn the system, at a certain point the Raiders can’t keep accepting mediocre play.
What About Vontaze Burfict?
The fact that the Raiders are bringing in Kendricks for a visit does show the team wants linebacker help. Just this week, 2019 team captain Vontaze Burfict was in Las Vegas. That led to speculation that he could be visiting the Raiders. The fact that they are looking for linebackers adds to the validity of that idea.
There haven’t been any reports of Burfict getting a workout or anything but he does have a strong relationship with defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. While Burfict definitely has some baggage, he knows the Raiders’ defensive system better than most. Even if he doesn’t play, he could be a valuable asset for Guenther. That said, if they haven’t signed him yet, it’s unlikely they sign him now.