It’s been a productive offseason for the Las Vegas Raiders as they’ve added some big names in Davante Adams and Chandler Jones. While adding those two is enough big moves for one offseason, there have been rumors linking another big name to the team. Heading into free agency Stephon Gilmore appeared to be a logical player of interest due to his familiarity with the defense that defensive coordinator Patrick Graham will be running.
Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that the Raiders have been making a run at Gilmore while Jordan Schultz has reported that the team has even made an offer. However, nothing has come to fruition as the former Defensive Player of the Year remains a free agent. During the NFL owners meetings, head coach Josh McDaniels was asked about the rumored interest in Gilmore. He seemed to throw cold water on the idea the Raiders were making a serious run at him.
“We talk to every free agent. [General manager] Dave [Ziegler] does that. His group does that,” McDaniels said of Gilmore. “But there’s been nothing substantial in that regard.”
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Any Chance Gilmore Still Ends up a Raider?
There was a lot of smoke around the idea of Gilmore signing with the Raiders during the first week of free agency. Those rumors have cooled down significantly in recent days. Gilmore is just two seasons removed from winning Defensive Player of the Year but is 31-years-old and coming off an injury-plagued season. He’s likely looking for his last big payday but teams are apprehensive to give it to him.
With the Raiders giving big money to Jones and Adams, they don’t have much money left to spend. Close to $20 million will become available after June 1, which would give the team plenty of money to offer Gilmore if he was still a free agent. There’s no rush for a veteran of his stature to sign a contract right now. If he has to wait until June to get the right contract, he will wait. McDaniels’ comments seem to show that the Raiders aren’t worried too much about pursuing him. However, the new coaching staff will continue to get more familiar with the roster as the days go on and they could find that the need for a cornerback of Gilmore’s caliber might be bigger than originally thought.
Raiders Defense Could Need Another Piece
The Raiders have two elite defenders in Jones and Maxx Crosby. They also have solid pieces like Denzel Perryman and Nate Hobbs. However, they could still need one more difference maker if they hope to slow down the AFC West offenses.
Gilmore is getting up there in age but would certainly qualify as a difference-maker. Fans have also been clamoring for safety Tyrann Mathieu to sign with the team. He’d also be a great defensive piece for them to sign. The Raiders’ defense could still be solid without another splash move but expectations for the team would be sky high if they could sign Mathieu or Gilmore in the coming weeks.