Last offseason, the Las Vegas Raiders invested a good chunk of change to try and fix their linebacker corps. They signed Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski to multi-year deals and the thought was that those two would fix the longstanding issues the team has had at linebacker. There’s still a chance that they could be impact players for the Raiders but 2020 was not good for them.
There were times when Nicholas Morrow looked like the team’s best linebacker. He’s a free agent this offseason but Las Vegas would like to keep him. According to The Athletic’s Vic Tafur, the Raiders are “in talks” to re-sign the linebacker.
#Raiders are in talks with LB Nicholas Morrow to try and bring him back.
One of the few defensive players who played well last year.
And he echoed Nelson Agholor in questioning the team’s accountability. Raising the bar.
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) March 5, 2021
Trying to bring Morrow back is a smart move. He showed real promise last season and new Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley like to have athletic linebackers.
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Raiders Might Not Be Able to Afford Morrow
Morrow said after the season that he’d like to be a Raider going forward. The feeling appears to be mutual. However, things won’t be that simple. Las Vegas might not be able to afford Morrow after spending big on Littleton and Kwiatkoski last offseason. Per Alex Marvez, Morrow has met with Bradley but the Raiders don’t have much money to spend.
Nicholas told @RyanDLeaf & me last night on @SiriusXMNFL he met with DC Gus Bradley this week to discuss how he'd fit into new scheme. @raiders making push but spent lot on LBs last offseason & may not have enough $ to make it work, especially with interest elsewhere in Nicholas https://t.co/nABzNwcJKg
— Alex Marvez (@alexmarvez) March 5, 2021
Morrow came into the NFL as an undrafted free agent so nobody could blame him for trying to get paid this offseason. If the Raiders can’t can’t give him the best offer, there’s a really good shot he won’t return. That said, they should make a run at keeping him so that they don’t need to figure out a replacement in the draft.
Morrow Used to Getting Overlooked
Morrow is one of the most underatted players on the Raiders. He was arguably one of their best defenders. He notched three sacks, a fumble recovery, an interception and 78 combined tackles. Those numbers aren’t elite but they were much better than what Littleton and Kwiatkoski gave the team. Despite that, he hasn’t gotten any hype as a top free agent.
“My agent brought that to my attention. I don’t even look at a lot of it,” Morrow told Raiders Wire. “It’s not a sore spot because…let’s put it this way; coming out of high school, I’d only started one year and I’d only played seven games. So I had no film, and I had guys that were three stars, four stars, other guys that went to D-1 schools, they were all in front of me and I looked at them and I said I can play. I know that I can play.
Morrow has always been a grinder.
“But I know I’m not going to get a D-1 scholarship because I didn’t have the experience,” he continued. “So, I went to Division-III (Greenville). And when I was there, after about my first or second year, as I got bigger and stronger, there weren’t a lot of guys that were comparable to me. So, I decided no matter what, whatever the case may be, each week I’m going to compete against my best self. So, if I go in there and have seven tackles, a sack, or whatever, I’m going to make sure that next week, that’s even better. That’s kind of how I have to look at it.”
Though he’s not getting hype in the media, it sounds like there are teams around the league that could give him a look this offseason. He’s got a shot at becoming a household name in the coming years.