The Las Vegas Raiders will have to take a hard look at their offensive line and make tough decisions this offseason. Swing offensive lineman Matt Feiler could help alleviate those decisions.
What’s the current state of the offensive line?
An area that currently might be getting overlooked in the offseason is the offensive line for the Raiders. The team still has decisions to make regarding some key contributors. The biggest and most notable question marks are tackle Trent Brown, guard Richie Incognito, and swing lineman Denzelle Good. All three are important for different reasons and the possibility exists that not all of them will be back next season, meaning someone of Feiler’s caliber would be invaluable.
Brown is an upper-echelon tackle but that’s when he’s on the field, something that didn’t happen too much in 2020. So far, ’77’ hasn’t lived up to his massive contract and it’s possible that Raiders brass has seen enough. Incognito was the anchor, alongside center Rodney Hudson, that powered the Raiders running game in Josh Jacobs’ rookie year. But with age catching up and having missed pretty much almost the whole 2020 season, Incognito’s future’s in doubt. As for Good, he stepped up big in 2020 playing all over the line, unfortunately, he’ll be an unrestricted free agent.
So depending on what happens with these three behemoths, general manager Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden could do themselves a favor an pick up Feiler.
What could Feiler bring to the Raiders?
Like Good, Feiler could bring extensive experience all along the offensive line, which could be big considering how banged the unit was in 2020. As far as financial concerns, Pro Football Focus is predicting that Feiler will sign a two-year deal with roughly $8 million guaranteed, more than likely with the New York Jets. What do you think Feiler would prefer? Joining arguably the NFL’s worst team or a young promising squad like the Raiders?
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The upside to Feiler would be his age, he’s relatively young for an offensive lineman at 28-years-old. Feiler’s experience as a swinging offensive lineman is invaluable, and he’s been dubbed as the best “sixth linemen” in the NFL by PFF. As you can see above, he’s an absolute mauler in the run game, no doubt Jacobs would welcome this. The team’s run blocking took a hit in 2020, Feiler would certainly help re-establishing that aspect of the offense.
“In four seasons, he has never earned an overall PFF grade lower than 65.0 and hits free agency still well short of 30 years old.”
Let’s say the money’s right and the Raiders stand to lose maybe two of the three linemen mentioned above. Why wouldn’t Feiler to Las Vegas make sense? In a draft where the popular consensus is that the Raiders will go mostly defense, signing Feiler would give the unit some flexibility in case the injury bug strikes again. Let’s not forget the excellent job that offensive line coach Tom Cable did this year. Adding Feiler to his unit could be exactly what the Raiders need in 2021.
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*Top Photo: Matthew Sunday/Steel Curtain Rising