One of the top needs the Las Vegas Raiders have had this offseason is for a veteran cornerback. They’ve been linked to some bigger names like Richard Sherman and A.J. Bouye but nothing came of it. The team has been patient and they’ve finally found a possible starter at cornerback.
The Raiders announced on Monday that they’ve signed Rasul Douglas.
Time to wear the Silver and Black.
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) April 19, 2021
Douglas has been in the NFL for four years and was drafted in the third round by the Philadelphia Eagles back in 2017. He started 29 games for them and won a Super Bowl as a rookie. He spent 2020 with the Carolina Panthers and started 11 games for them. He hasn’t always been a consistent starter but will add some nice depth.
Douglas will likely be competing with Damon Arnette for a starting job. The 2020 first-round pick struggled quite a bit as a rookie. There’s still plenty of time for him to grow and improve but Douglas should provide a bit of challenge for him.
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Raiders Still Need a Slot Cornerback
Now that the Raiders signed Douglas, they need to shift the focus to finding a slot cornerback. LaMarcus Joyner was cut earlier in the offseason and the team might not have a strong replacement on the roster. Las Vegas likes Amik Robertson but he couldn’t get on the field much as a rookie. It’s fair to question if he’s equipped to play slot corner as opposed to playing on the outside.
Arnette could also be an option in the slot. He played there a bit at Ohio State and the fact that he doesn’t have elite athletic traits could make him a better hit. However, the Raiders didn’t use a first-round pick to find a slot cornerback. They’d much prefer if Arnette could thrive on the outside. With Gus Bradley coming in as defensive coordinator, the defense could be in for a big shake-up. He has no ties to any player who wasn’t brought in this offseason. He’s going to do what’s best for the defense and if Arnette continues to struggle, there’s a good chance he’ll be moved inside.
Is the Door Closed on Richard Sherman Closed?
Prior to the start of free agency, it looked like there was a really good shot the Raiders could target Richard Sherman. He used to play under Bradley and has respect for Jon Gruden. He even said that he was planning on meeting with the team this offseason.
Surprisingly, Sherman hasn’t appeared to garner much interest in free agency. He’s past his athletic prime at 33-years-old but can bring value to plenty of teams. First of all, he’s still an above-average starting cornerback. Secondly, he’s an excellent leader. With the Raiders signing Douglas, the door is likely closed on them adding Sherman. However, that could depend on how long he remains unsigned. If the draft passes and the Raiders get into offseason workouts and are unimpressed with their cornerback play, they could revisit Sherman.