Raiders Land Ex-Sack Leader & Former 1st-Round Pick


Getty Former DE Takkarist McKinley #98 of the Atlanta Falcons.

The Las Vegas Raiders have lacked a pass rush all year. Despite that fact, they haven’t done much to try and fix it. After a devastating loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Raiders appear to finally be ready to shake things up.

The team announced Monday that they’ve signed Vic Beasley to the practice squad. He led the league in sacks back in 2015 but has fallen off since then. He bounced back a bit last season and picked up eight sacks. That led to him signing with the Tennessee Titans this past offseason. That didn’t work out for Beasley. He had zero sacks in five games and they cut him loose.

It’s hard to tell what kind of player the Raiders will be getting. Even the eight sack Beasley of last season would make him one of the two most productive pass rushers for the team. He doesn’t need to regain his elite form, but if he can at least be somewhat disruptive, he’s going to be an asset for the Raiders.

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Raiders Claim Takk McKinley

The Beasley signing is notable enough by itself but it appears the Raiders weren’t done there. The team announced that they were also able to claim another former Atlanta Falcons first-round pick in Takk McKinley.

The Raiders are now the third team that McKinley has been claimed by in the last couple of weeks. He failed physicals for the Cincinnati Bengals and San Francisco 49ers. Each team has different standards for their physicals so perhaps the third time is the charm.

Similar to Beasley, McKinley has had an uneven career. He had 13 sacks in his first two seasons but only has 4.5 in the last two. The Raiders love to take chances on former first-round picks and perhaps it’ll pay off. However, it’s not a given that McKinley ever plays with the team. He’s already failed two physicals and could easily fail a third. Whether or not the signing lasts will likely be made known shortly.

Interestingly enough, Las Vegas is set to play the Falcons this upcoming Sunday. It’s probably no coincidence the Raiders are bringing in two of their former pass rushers. The team needs to get back in the win column to stay in the playoff race. Atlanta hasn’t been great this year but they still have offensive weapons. The Raiders would be foolish to underestimate them.

Raiders Cut Datone Jones

With these moves, the Raiders did have to make a roster cut. Defensive lineman Datone Jones was the casualty of these transactions. He was another former first-round pick who never had much luck in the NFL. He got on the active roster for one game this season and made two tackles.

The Raiders’ practice squad is now loaded with potential pass-rushing talent. McKinley, Beasley and David Irving are all on the squad and they’re all guys who have notched at least seven sacks in a season. If at least one of them can step up, the Raiders are going to feel a lot better about their playoff chances.

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