The Las Vegas Raiders have already let a couple of players walk in free agency but they were able to keep a pretty important piece. According to Alex Marvez of Sirius XM, the team has re-signed linebacker Nicholas Morrow.
The Raiders are giving Morrow a one-year deal worth $5 million, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
That’s a solid deal for Las Vegas considering he was one of their best defenders last season. Morrow easily had his best season in 2020. He 78 combined tackles, three sacks and an interception. He was the most productive of all the Raiders’ linebackers, including big-ticket free agents Nick Kwiatkoski and Cory Littleton. Had he left, the team would’ve probably needed to add a new player.
This was definitely a preferable outcome for the Raiders. Morrow is on an upward trajectory and is an emerging young leader. If he can build off of his career year, he could be a very good player. Another strong year of showing improvement and Morrow will be a hot name on the free-agent market next season.
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Morrow Had Interest From Other Team
The Raiders did have a little competition for Morrow’s services. According to Ben Standig of The Athletic, the Washington Football Team “checked in” with the veteran linebacker.
As Standig pointed out, Morrow played under Jack Del Rio with the Raiders in 2017. If he didn’t decide to stay in Las Vegas, he would’ve made a lot of sense in Washington under his former coach. Luckily for the Raiders, they were able to convince the emerging defender to stay put. Morrow wasn’t shy about the fact that he wanted to continue with the team prior to free agency so they always had the upper hand.
There were likely even more teams that were in on Morrow.
Raiders Offseason Has Yielded Concerning Results
Heading into last season, the Raiders looked like an ascending team. They barely missed the playoffs in 2019 and added some exciting players on offense and defense. The team was certainly poised for a playoff run. While they ended up missing the postseason, they did have a decent 8-8 record.
Heading into the 2021 season, there seems to be a lot less to be excited about. The Raiders have detonated their offensive line, which was one of their biggest strengths. Team captain and star center Rodney Hudson won’t be returning and right tackle Trent Brown has already been traded. Those were arguably two of the team’s five best players. There’s also a chance that Richie Incognito and Gabe Jackson don’t return but there’s still a door open for them to come back.
Regardless, the offensive line looks like a mess right now. The only really exciting move the team has made is signing Pro Bowl pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue. He’ll be an instant impact player for the Raiders but one solid pass rusher doesn’t fix a terrible defense. So far, the team’s offseason has offered up more questions than answers. Things aren’t looking particularly great in Raider land.