The Atlanta Falcons made headlines when they decided to part ways with Vic Beasley recently. Should the Las Vegas Raiders pursue the former All-Pro knowing he’ll be a pricey commodity?
It’s the norm every offseason for Raider Nation to clamor for a free agency splash. This year in particular, the Raiders (we assume) would want to make an immediate impact in Vegas. Enter former top-10 pick and All-Pro Vic Beasley, who will not be returning to the Falcons in 2020. Considering the talent level the linebacker has displayed, it presents an opportunity for Las Vegas. However, it’s uncertain if general manager Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden would cough up the cash.
Change Of Philosophy?
Signing someone expensive as Beasley would force the Raiders to adjust their approach to building the defensive front, which has been intelligently put together via the draft. Last year’s class included Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell. The year before, they drafted Maurice Hurst in the fifth round and P.J. Hall in the second. Moreover, Johnathan Hankins, while not drafted by the Raiders, was a second round pick in 2013 and Dion Jordan was the third overall pick in that same draft making up the rest of the unit.
Both Crosby and Ferrell will get stronger and better in their sophomore years, so it begs the question: would it be smart to invest so heavily on Beasley? Probably not, though that depends on who you talk to. For example, our own Carlos Sanchez recently pointed out that the San Francisco 49ers built their powerful defense via the draft and smart free agency signings.
San Francisco has been building a sturdy defense through the draft, trades and free agency. This past year, they signed All-Pro Richard Sherman, former Pro Bowler Kwon Alexander, re-signed unsung hero Jimmy Ward, exercised DeFoster Buckner’s fifth-year option and drafted rookie of the year Nick Bosa and Dre Greenlaw. That’s half a defensive lineup full of difference makers and that’s without counting Dee Ford, who joined the team via trade.
In other words, breaking the bank for Beasley would not be astute knowing there are holes in the secondary and the linebacker corps. Resources need to be allocated where the Raiders have missed the mark recently, especially in the defensive backfield i.e. Lamarcus Joyner.
Game Changing Talent?
The flip side to the money issue is the fact that Beasley could be a game changing talent. He’s a former All Pro that’s started 60 games in his career and has partaken in four postseason matches. Last season, the linebacker started 15 games, recorded 42 total tackles, two forced fumbles, and added eight sacks. It’s worth pointing out Beasley had 12 total quarterback hits last season, and the only Raiders defender with more was Crosby, who had 14.
Pro Football Focus gave Beasley a 58.9 rating, which ranked below Crosby’s 65.5 and Ferrell, who earned a 62.2. Tempting as it may be, the Raiders might be better off passing on him. Spotrac currently predicts he will sign a three-year, $22 million contract. Not cheap by any means.
One final note, if Vic Beasley were to join this potentially explosive unit, they’d be under the tutelage of new defensive line coach Rod Marinelli. We’ve seen what the former Cowboys defensive coordinator has done before, Raider Nation would undoubtedly be salivating at the prospect of Beasley alongside these youngsters.
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