While the New England Patriots are despised by the Las Vegas Raiders’ faithful, they have some potential cap casualties that warrant a look.
The Patriots found themselves in a strange place in 2020 without quarterback Tom Brady, and ended the season with a 7-9 record. Moving forward, they’ll need a new quarterback in 2021 and like the Raiders, need to also do some restructuring. We all know Raider Nation doesn’t care for New England in the slightest, but this goes beyond that.
Raiders Needs To Address The Interior
There are some potential Patriots cap casualties the Raiders could use to bolster some roster deficiencies. They need help along their defensive line as well as in the secondary. These two weaknesses will receive major attention, whether it’s in April’s NFL draft or in the upcoming free agency period. So who could New England possibly part ways that would entice Raiders management? Let’s take a look at a couple of possibilities that could help the defensive line.
The Patriots could potentially part ways with two of their defensive tackles, Lawrence Guy and Adam Butler. We all know Maliek Collins turned out to be a bust from last year’s free agency period. Also, Johnathan Hankins might end up leaving, which would leave a huge hole for the Raiders. Both Butler and Guy could provide some relief in the middle, provided the team drafts a defensive tackle early in the first or second round.
These Two Potential Defensive Tackles Would Help
Guy is a six-foot-four lineman that’s played inside and as an edge in the Patriot’s 3-4 defense. Last season, he had two sacks playing inside. According to Pro Football Focus, Guy’s strength is more in the run defense department and had a 67.1 grade for 2020. Much of his film shows that he has great hands and was constantly disrupting running lanes for the Patriots. As you can see below, Guy’s strength would be a nice addition if Hankins ends up leaving. Considering his size, Guy would most likely see most of his snaps on the inside alongside Collins or a rookie.
Classic Kittle game moving people around & putting them on the ground as a run-blocker. Last clip is Lawrence Guy he creates displacement on too 👀 pic.twitter.com/JyXf9bMgnQ
— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) October 27, 2020
Butler could be of use as well, he’s also younger at 26 with lots of upside in my opinion. Over the past two seasons, the defensive tackle has played in 31 regular-season games, accumulating 10 sacks, 14 tackles for a loss, and 24 pressures. If the Patriots were to cut ties, he won’t come cheap, but the Raiders need pressure from their interior badly. In this scenario, you have to cough up the cash for Butler.
Unlike Guy, Butler’s a powerful pass-rusher from the inside in the Patriot’s current scheme. You move him inside in Gus Bradley’s scheme and it would free up Clelin Ferrell. Butler’s underrated strength allows him to power through double teams. If the Raiders invested in Butler, the entire line would get a boost. A front four with Ferrell and Butler and a rookie with Maxx Crosby next to him would generate some pressure. This will be key in 2021 as we know Bradley won’t be blitzing much, the possibilities here should be enticing for Las Vegas.
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*Top Photo: Matt Stone/ MediaNews Group/Boston Herald