One area the Las Vegas Raiders certainly didn’t ignore this offseason was the defensive line. The team added a big name in Yannick Ngakoue and proceeded to sign several more low-cost players. Despite signing so many linemen, the Raiders only added one true difference maker in Ngakoue.
The team has really struggled to get after the quarterback over the last several years and adding one impact player might not make a huge difference. However, Las Vegas could add even more firepower. Last season, the Raiders were linked to Jadeveon Clowney a number of times. The former No. 1 overall pick is once again a free agent and it doesn’t look like he’ll be signed soon. As his price drops, it’s very possible that the Raiders could show interest in him again. NFL Network’s Mike Silver thinks it could be the perfect move for the team to make.
“[Clowney] would have been a Raider back in the day and it just depends how much he’s getting offered by other teams,” Silver said on NFL Network recently. “If you’re the Raiders, don’t you try? I mean, Maxx Crosby was really your only edge presence… you’ve signed Ngakoue so now you’ve got a second edge presence and an accomplished one, but get yourself more and put a little fear into opposing offenses when you line up. You look at Jadeveon Clowney when he’s healthy … that provokes fear.”
— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) April 7, 2021
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Should Raiders Revisit Clowney?
The Raiders are in a different spot than they were last year when they were linked to Clowney. With Ngakoue joining the team, they now have a legit star pass rusher. However, what Ngakoue does well and what Clowney does well is very different. The former is a pass-rushing specialist who doesn’t make an impact in the run game. The latter is an inconsistent rusher but he’s an elite run stuffer.
That should make Clowney more appealing to the Raiders. Now that they have Ngakoue, they don’t need somebody who can get 10 sacks a game, but having somebody who can dominate the run and get the occasional sack would be big. The idea of having Clowney and Ngakoue has to have Jon Gruden salivating. That said, Clelin Ferrell is essentially a less dynamic version of Clowney. The team might not have much of a need for a guy like him.
Raiders Have No More Money
With the decision to hand Kolton Miller a massive contract extension, the Raiders pretty much decimated whatever cap space they had left. The team only has about $2.6 million left to spend.
#Raiders deal with Miller increased his cap hit by about $9 million this season. Over The Cap has them with about $2.6M in cap room for 2021 right now https://t.co/Xp17JA0VVC
— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) April 7, 2021
Even though Clowney is coming off a couple of down years, he’ll make at least $10 million. Now, if the Raiders need to make a move, they can make it work. The team can always restructure contracts of some of their more expensive players and could cut a guy like Jalen Richard. However, the team has far bigger needs than another defensive lineman. They still haven’t signed a veteran cornerback or a starting free safety. Those positions need to be addressed before they even think about making a luxury signing like Clowney.
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