Ex-Raiders Free Agent Lineman Lands $3.75 Million Contract

jerry tillery

Getty Former Raiders DL Jerry Tillery.

The Las Vegas Raiders are going through some significant roster changes under new general manager Tom Telesco. One of the first moves he made was cutting defensive lineman Jerry Tillery right before the start of free agency.

Luckily for Tillery, he didn’t remain a free agent for long. The Minnesota Vikings announced on March 14 that they’ve signed the veteran to a contract. According to a March 14 X post from NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Tillery is getting a one-year contract that can be worth up to $3.75 million.

Telesco used a first-round pick on Tillery in 2019 while he was still with the Los Angeles Chargers before cutting him during the 2022 season. The general manager clearly didn’t think the defensive lineman would continue to be a fit in Las Vegas.

In a season and a half with the Raiders, Tillery had 2.0 sacks and started in 10 games. He was a key part of their defensive line but with the team undergoing major coaching changes this offseason, there is some retooling happening on defense. The Vikings are a good landing spot for Tillery as defensive coordinator Brian Flores is one of the best in the NFL. Minnesota’s defense shut out the Raiders last season and Tillery should have a key role going forward.

Minnesota Vikings Receive ‘B’ for Jerry Tillery Signing

Jerry Tillery hasn’t been able to live up to his draft status so far. He has just 12.5 sacks and is about to play for his third team. Gary Davenport of Bleacher Report gave the Vikings a “B” grade for the signing.

“To be fair, it hasn’t all been bad. Tillery had 5.1 total tackles and 4.5 sacks with the Bolts in 2021,” Davenport wrote in a March 14 column. “But his 31 tackles and two sacks from last year hardly scream ‘impact player.’

“However, the Minnesota Vikings needed to add some beef up front, and Tillery can play end in odd-numbered fronts and kick inside in sub-packages. For a deal that maxes out at less than $4 million, the 27-year-old is worth a roll of the dice.”

There’s little risk in signing Tillery and if Brian Flores can get the most out of him, it’ll look like a steal in hindsight.

Christian Wilkins Hyped About Joining Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders didn’t take long to make a major upgrade on the defensive line when they signed former Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins on the first day of free agency. He was one of the top players available and had a big market.

Though he could’ve played for a number of teams, Wilkins is very excited about playing for the Raiders.

“I’m such a character and such an animated, sick, twisted, individual,” Wilkins said during his March 14 media availability. “I just love the game. I love the grind, and you just feel that here. … Something’s different about this place and how people go about it. Everyone’s themselves. There’s great energy here, and I’m glad I could be a part of it.”

Wilkins should fit in well with the Raiders locker room and could be a serious difference-maker on defense. The team had to pay a pretty penny to get him ($110 million), but he should be worth it if the defensive line can hit another level.

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