The New York Jets have a new head coach in Robert Saleh and will look to re-shape their team in 2021, maybe the Las Vegas Raiders can poach some of their potential cap casualties.
It’s a new day for the Jets, who have some tough decisions to make, just like the Las Vegas Raiders. As of right now, the ‘Gang Green’ has roughly $63 million in cap space, per Over The Cap. They’ll be looking to rebuild their roster, though we don’t know if Sam Darnold will be a part of those plans yet. Head coach Robert Saleh doesn’t seem committed to his quarterback, which is something that can affect their cap as well.
As far as the Raiders are concerned, they have several issues of their own to figure out. Their offensive and defensive lines have some serious woes after injuries and subpar production hampered both units. Luckily for them, there might be some depth available if New York parts ways with George Fant and Henry Anderson. One could potentially be a starting offensive tackle and the other add depth as a pass rusher.
What can Fant and Anderson do for the Raiders?
As far as Anderson, he’s been a serviceable defensive end for the Jets though his best year was 2018. Playing in the Jets base 3-4 defense, he would most likely play on passing downs. Last season, he earned a 72.2 Pro Football Focus run defense grade.
On the downside, Anderson is what we might call a ‘dirty’ player and would most likely go against the Raiders’ philosophy. Said philosophy, implemented by general manager Mike Mayock, puts an emphasis on ‘character.’ For those of you not familiar with Anderson, he’s had a history of dirty play and cheap shots, most notably against the Buffalo Bills. So would 41 pressures over the past three seasons be worth the risk that comes with Anderson?
Las Vegas might need a tackle in 2021
There are still a lot of variables with the tackle spot as far as the Raiders are concerned. Kolton Miller is the placeholder on the left side and he’s not going anywhere this year. The right side is another question entirely, mostly due to the ‘Trent Brown dilemma.‘ When “77’ is on the field, he is dominant.
However, his health has derailed much of his current stint and his contract is one of the most expensive on the roster. If the Raiders move on, they could sign Fant, which could help them use their high draft picks on defense. They’d still have Brandon Parker and possibly Denzelle Good. As far as what Fant would bring, well, let’s take a closer look.
Fant could replace Brown for the Raiders
Fant has played both as a right and left tackle in his NFL career. He’d be an instant starter if Brown’s gone and no tackle is drafted in April. It’s hard to say which way the Raiders’ management will go, they could easily draft someone like Christian Darrisaw or they could target a free agent. With Fant, they’ll be getting a solid tackle that has started 38 regular-season games in the past four seasons. He isn’t an elite tackle in the mold of Trent Williams, but he’ll cost less and can be a stop-gap solution depending on the team’s plans.
The George Fant/Greg Van Roten right side is starting to get rolling for the #Jets. They combined for 1 pressure allowed against the Patriots.@Michael_Nania breaks down Fant and GVR's film vs. New England: https://t.co/0wyhQuRiF3 pic.twitter.com/8G4JQRoRDT
— Jets X-Factor (@jetsxfactor) November 17, 2020
As you can see above, Fant is solid in pass protection, but he’s susceptible to more athletic pass rushers, as was the case versus the Cleveland Browns back in December. PFF graded his pass protection at 61.8 in 2020, with three sacks against him. For someone his size, six-foot-five and 322 pounds, Fant possesses good feet and underrated lateral speed. He was effective in the run games in his previous stops, particularly in plays such as sweeps.
Depending on Fant’s asking price and the Raiders’ plans, this could be a solid short-term solution, especially if Brown is indeed done with the Silver and Black.
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*Top Photo: Will Newton/Getty Images)