During the 2020 season, the Las Vegas Raiders went out of their way to acquire defensive end Takk McKinley. They put in multiple waiver claims for the former Atlanta Falcons first-round pick. The team eventually landed him but had to place him on injured reserve due to injury issues.
The Raiders could’ve just withdrawn their waiver claim after becoming aware of his injury issues but decided to keep him and pay him in hopes that he’d want to stay with the team long-term. Well, it looks like that was a big waste of time and money. McKinley decided to sign with the Cleveland Browns.
This came as a bit of a surprise as McKinley is from Oakland, California and it was clear the Raiders would’ve wanted him back, according to The Athletic’s Vic Tafur.
Perhaps Las Vegas was waiting things out to see what his market would be and he decided to jump on a deal with Cleveland. If the Raiders really wanted him back, they probably should’ve made more of an effort. Regardless, they were able to land Yannick Ngakoue, who is a significantly more productive player than McKinley. They are also the same age so the Raiders shouldn’t be too bummed about not bringing back the defensive end.
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Raiders Re-Sign Derek Carrier
Carrier has now been with the team for a few years now. He saw his role diminish quite a bit in 2020 with the addition of Jason Witten. Now that Witten is retired, Carrier should reclaim his spot as the No. 3 tight end. He’ll be heading into his 10th season in the NFL but has spent most of his career with the silver and black. In his three years with the Raiders, he has 21 catches for 189 yards and two touchdowns.
Raiders Also Bringing Back Nevin Lawson
One of the most suspicious things in free agency is the fact that the Raiders have done nothing to address their secondary issues so far. Anthony Harris would’ve been an excellent fit but he ended up signing with the Philadelphia Eagles for only $5 million. Why the Raiders haven’t jumped on one of the top free-agent defensive backs is a bit perplexing.
While they still look at their options, it appears they will be bringing back a veteran cornerback. According to Anthony Galaviz of the Fresno Bee, the Raiders are re-signing Nevin Lawson.
This will be Lawson’s third season with the team. He’s had his chances to start and while he hasn’t been terrible, he definitely hasn’t made a big impact. He has yet to catch an interception for the silver and black. With LaMarcus Joyner signing elsewhere, the Raiders could put Lawson in at slot corner but will likely still try to fill that hole in free agency.