Raiders Sign 4-Year Starter From Texans: Report

mike mayock

Getty Las Vegas Raiders GM Mike Mayock.

The Las Vegas Raiders’ offensive line is undergoing a major overhaul this offseason. Only two Week 1 starters from last year are slated to return. The most surprising move was the decision to trade Rodney Hudson, who no longer wanted to be a part of the team.

Center has been one of the few stable positions for the Raiders over the last several years but that is no longer the case. While Hudson is gone, the team may have just added his replacement. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Las Vegas is signing former Houston Texans center Nick Martin.

Martin has started 62 games in Houston over his first four seasons in the NFL. Last season, he only allowed one sack through 16 games played. He’s solid in pass protection but has issues in the run game. Pro Football Focus has him ranked as the 29th best center in the NFL. Hudson was rated as the eighth and he had a down year. Martin could be a realistic option to replace Hudson but it’s not a given that he’ll get the job.

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Andre James Still Expected to Start?

A big reason the Raiders were comfortable trading Hudson was the fact that they are very high on Andre James. According to The Athletic’s Vic Tafur, the team is really high on the 23-year-old undrafted free agent.

“A converted tackle from UCLA, James has won the confidence of the coaching staff and was one reason the Raiders agreed to part ways with Hudson,” Tafur wrote.

James saw the field briefly in 2019 when he had to fill in for an injured Hudson. He played well in the limited snaps. Hudson was healthy for all of 2020 so James didn’t get a chance to have any reps at center. The Raiders are showing a lot of confidence in a young player who has almost no experience. They likely brought in Martin just in case James isn’t up for the challenge but odds are that the team favors the young offensive lineman.

Raiders Could Be in for Bad 2021

The Raiders have made some good moves this offseason. Yannick Ngakoue and John Brown were really good additions. However, it’s hard to say if the roster will actually be better than it was last season.

The offensive line won’t be as good unless the Raiders pull off some big moves. A rookie will likely be Trent Brown’s replacement at right tackle. That could be a good thing but it could also lead to disaster. No matter how good James is, he’s not going to be as good as Hudson. Richie Incognito and Denzelle Good will be fine at the guard spots. The biggest concerns have to be at center and right tackle.

Also, the Raiders are almost out of money and have done nothing to address their secondary issues. As of right now, they do not have a capable free safety on their roster. They also desperately need a veteran cornerback. It’s still early in free agency but if the Raiders don’t address those needs, they are going to be in serious trouble.

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