The Las Vegas Raiders appear to be all in on their defense this free agency, and despite the Eli Apple signing, they might not be done yet.
General manager Mike Mayock added quality depth at cornerback by picking up veteran Eli Apple. Raider Nation interestingly enough didn’t seem too impressed with this move as The Raider Ramble ran a poll to gauge fan’s perception via Twitter.
— RaiderRamble.com™ (@TheRaiderRamble) March 18, 2020
It seems like fans feel feel underwhelmed by the move. Perhaps they were spoiled by the Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski signings, but they should remember not every move will make headlines. That doesn’t necessarily mean the Raiders still don’t potentially have one more trick up their sleeve. Megan Armstrong of Bleacher Report wrote that the team might’ve been in the market for Darius Slay to further shore up the defense before Josina Anderson reported the cornerback was being sent to the Eagles.
Vic Tafur of The Athletic explained more in detail what a potential deal would have looked like for Slay via Armstrong’s report:
“The Lions are said to be after a second-round pick, but the Raiders don’t have one of those. They have two picks in the first round (Nos. 12 and 19) and three in the third, plus a starting guard, Gabe Jackson, who is due to make $9 million and a candidate to be moved.
“A contract extension for Slay would have be a part of any potential trade…”
A potential trade involving so many moving parts would definitely make some noise. Yet, would Mayock have actually given up that much draft capital? It depends on what the Raiders would’ve gotten back in return. Slay is a three time Pro Bowler and was an All Pro in 2017 for the Detroit Lions. We’re talking about a cornerback that only gave up a 55.9% completion percentage to opposing quarterbacks last year. This was possibly a move alongside the Littleton signing that could have truly elevated the Raiders defense next season. Apple for his part, will add much needed depth, it could be a win-win.
Apple might not get the headlines Raider Nation wants. Harris and Slay got away, but there are still cornerbacks the Raiders can sign in Free Agency. Logan Ryan anyone?
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