All NFL teams will be looking to make changes to give themselves some financial flexibility with the 2021 salary cap changes, and the Las Vegas Raiders and Miami Dolphins are no exception.
Going into NFL free agency this year, the Raiders have several positions needing re-tooling. Some of these holes will be plugged during April’s NFL draft while others could come at another team’s expense. The Dolphins could be one of those squads.
Miami will be looking to restructure its roster, just like the Raiders, who need to make some tough decisions. There are three potential cuts that would aid the Silver and Black if and when the Dolphins decide they’re too expensive to keep around. The trio is edge rusher Emmanuel Ogbah and safeties, Bobby McCain and Eric Rowe. Ogbah would be an instant upgrade in getting to opposing quarterbacks while the other two could help reshape the secondary.
Raiders could afford at least one of these casualties
Per Spotrac, the 2021 salaries for those players as of today are: $7.5 million for Ogbah, $5.6 million for McCain, and $4 million for Rowe. Realistically speaking, the Raiders would probably be able to only afford one of them, but all three could have a positive effect in Gus Bradley’s defense in 2021.
Ogbah accrued nine sacks, six tackles for a loss, and 35 total pressures. McCain started 15 games at free safety for the Dolphins, accumulating five passes defensed, one interception, and four pressures. He also posted a solid 63.1 coverage grade per Pro Football Focus.
Rowe, was the Dolphin’s starting strong safety in 2020, he posted his second-highest starting total of 14 games. ’21’ generated an impressive stat line along the way: 11 passes defensed, two interceptions, and one tackle for a loss.
How would the defense look?
Naturally, the issue would be how these potential free agents will fit in with the Raiders. Ogbah could be an instant starter, with Maxx Crosby being relegated to rotational play as Pro Football Focus recently suggested. As far as McCain, he too would be an instant starter on this Raiders team. Let’s face it, if the team parts ways with Lamarcus Joyner, they’ll need a starting free safety.
Signing Rowe would be interesting since Johnathan Abram is the starting strong safety for now. Strictly comparing their coverage abilities, Rowe only surrendered a 62.4 completion percentage, while Abram’s final rate was 76.5. However, this is subjective when you compare the number of times they were picked on in coverage last year.
Bradley will probably have Abram play deep, allowing Rowe, a six-foot-one proven safety to start and have Amik Robertson man the slot. This is assuming if the team moves on from Joyner. There are many intangibles here, once free agency starts and we know exactly how the Raiders will restructure their roster, we’ll know who are probable signings.
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