The Las Vegas Raiders need help in the trenches on both sides of the ball. However, they might be able to capitalize on some of the Chicago Bears’ potential cap casualties to alleviate this.
The Raiders will have to address some serious deficiencies that currently plague them after a disappointing 2020 season. In particular, they need help within both the offensive and defensive lines. Luckily for them, the Bears will have some difficult financial choices when shaping their own roster. Las Vegas can capitalize on this as the Bears could be losing out on some quality veterans real soon.
Offensively, the Raiders could be losing both Trent Brown and Richie Incognito for different reasons pertaining to health and finances. On the defense, the Silver and Black have to upgrade after Maliek Collins disappointed last season. It also doesn’t help that Johnathan Hankins might cash out elsewhere this offseason. If this is the case, Akiem Hicks and Bobby Massie might be worth a look if they become available.
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What can Akiem Hicks bring to the Raiders?
Hicks’ contract runs through the 2021 season, but the Bears could trade or cut him, clearing up some cap space in the process. The team has invested heavily in their defense but the team needs to allocate more resources to their offense. One reason why Chicago could consider such a move is Hicks’ health. He’s missed 12 games in the last two years while the Bears took a cap hit of $10.1 and $11.8 million in those seasons, respectively, per Spotrac.
Nevertheless, when Hicks was on the field, he was a disruptive force, earning a Pro Bowl nod in 2018. That season, he had 7.5 sacks and 12 tackles for a loss, with 29 pressures under his belt. Last year, he lined up in the middle and generated 29 pressures and generated seven and a half tackles for loss. This is the type of production that the Raiders were missing from their interior last year.
Is Bobby Massie worth a look?
The Raiders will need a right tackle if Trent Brown is indeed on his way out. If Richie Incognito’s gone, Denzelle Good could be the starting guard next year. Unfortunately, that means the tackle position will need a starter immediately. The organization could draft a tackle such as Alex Leatherwood but a more likely scenario involves them signing a veteran that can hold down the position for a couple of years.
Massie is signed through 2022 per Spotrac, however, the Bears could decide his injuries have caught up to him. He’s only played in 18 regular-season games over the last two years, his snap count dropped significantly during that time as well. Over the last three years, Massie’s snap count has been: 1070, 612, and 470, respectively. Even so, back in 2018, Massie had a Pro Football Focus pass-blocking grade of 77.7, and in 2020, a 70.8 grade for the same category.
The Raiders wouldn’t be looking at Massie as a long-term solution, rather he’d be a stop-gap. This would allow the team to use its early draft picks on defense. For the right price, this could be a sound strategy for the Silver and Black.
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