Raiders

Las Vegas Raiders Should Still Add LB Will Compton

The Las Vegas Raiders signed linebacker Will Compton in the in the middle of the 2019 season. Although they didn’t bring him back, the team shouldn’t close the door on a potential reunion.

The Raiders linebacker corps was less than stellar last year. Tahir Whitehead was a liability in coverage, Vontaze Burfict was suspended after four games and Nicholas Morrow didn’t develop the way the team had expected. Moreover, Marquel Lee was out for the season after being placed on IR. Due to ineffectiveness and injury at the position, Las Vegas signed Compton on October 30.

Compton isn’t a Pro Bowler by any means, but he is a solid linebacker and he went on to have an impact for the Raiders as soon as he joined the team. In nine games, he had 28 solo tackles. He gave up 16 receptions in coverage but didn’t allow any touchdowns. Also, he wore the green dot on his helmet, meaning that he communicated with defensive coordinator Paul Guenther in order to make adjustments between downs.

Related: It’s now or never for Raiders DC Paul Guenther

Although the Raiders didn’t sign Compton once the season ended, both parties stayed in touch and had good talks before the free agency period. Now that the 2020 NFL Draft is over, Las Vegas could re-sign the veteran to add depth and reinforce their linebacker corps.

Nick Kwiatkoski and Cory Littleton will be the de facto starters, but one linebacker spot is open. Morrow and Lee are still on the roster and general manager Mike Mayock expects rookie Tanner Muse to switch from safety, but none of the three have shown they can hold the spot on a long term basis. If one of them somehow keeps the third linebacker starting job, the Raiders could still bring in Compton for depth purposes.

Either as a starter or in a reserve role, the Raiders would definitely benefit from inking Compton. According to Over the Cap, he accounted for $341,471 of the team’s salary cap while earning $426,176, which is somewhat of a bargain for the kind of impact he had last season. If Las Vegas decided to bring him back, the veteran linebacker wouldn’t cost much and would fit within the budget.

The Raiders fielded a better linebacker unit once they signed Compton last year. This season, he could be an unsung contributor that lets others have the spotlight.

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Top Photo: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

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