The Las Vegas Raiders roster has many glaring needs this offseason, but none come close to the safety position.
Raider Nation’s tired of the atrocity that’s been on display in the back half of the defense the past five years. Whether it was Dallin Leavitt, Erik Harris, or a lost Johnathan Abram, the position simply left a lot to be desired. Even if Abram still has time to turn into a foundational player, the Raiders to add depth at both safety spots.
They need to add a franchise player at the free safety position and someone who can take significant snaps at strong safety when Abram falls asleep. Here are the top targets at both positions for the Raiders.
Strong safeties the Raiders should target…
Keanu Neal, Atlanta Falcons
Neal hasn’t lived up to his draft status but he’s still solid. In 2020, he played a strong safety role, while excelling in the box. He also has the ability to flex over to the slot when needed. He could push Abram while also offering a skill set that can work hand in hand with him. He’s a sure-tackler with adequate coverage skills, a good addition to a Raiders team that lacked both of those things in 2020.
Projected contract: Two years, $10 million, $5 million guaranteed
Duron Harmon, Detroit Lions
Realistically, it’s unlikely Neal will land in Las Vegas, which makes targeting someone like Duron Harmon more reasonable. Harmon was traded to Detroit last season and started all 16 games after not having a featured role for seven seasons in New England. Harmon had an excellent start to the season, grading in the top 5 through five weeks, regrettably, he fizzled out down the stretch.
The drop in production may’ve been due to the fact he’s better suited for a complementary role. The depth he offers as a third safety is important though. The Raiders are looking to upgrade Leavitt at this position and hopefully go into the season with four decent safeties.
Projected contract: One year $3 million, $1.75 million guaranteed
Should the Raiders look to their AFC West rival for help?
Daniel Sorenson, Kansas City
Sorenson isn’t a safety you’re going to break the bank on, however, he is a serviceable player in this league, with a great reputation. He is a player that in the right role can be a key to a team. As Chiefs fans know, he may give up a big play here and there, but makes plays when they count. With ten interceptions over his Chiefs contract in a fairly limited role, Sorenson is a good player to have on your team, especially in a depth capacity.
Projected contract: One year, $5 million, $3.75 million guaranteed
What about free safety options for the Raiders?
Marcus Williams, New Orleans
Take away the miracle in Minnesota and Marcus Williams has had as good of a start to a career as you can hope for. He forces the most incomplete passes for any safety in football while offering a lot in the run game as well. The Saints want to re-sign him but they will have to get creative with their accounting books as they are currently $70 million over the cap. Williams will be sought after if he hits the open market because he can play free safety in any scheme, making him a high priority for the Raiders.
Projected contract: Four years, $60 million, $30 million guaranteed
Tre Boston, Carolina Panthers
If the Raiders in fact go the cheap route at safety again, Boston makes a ton of sense. Recently cut by the Panthers, Boston has Bradley connections from his time with the Chargers. Boston’s serviceable and still an upgrade over the Raiders’ current options, his contract should be much more affordable than the top two guys, if the Raiders decide to spend on pass rush instead of the safety position, this makes a ton of sense.
Projected contract: Two years $10 million, $5.5 million guaranteed
Is Harris the ultimate prize this free agency period?
Anthony Harris, Minnesota Vikings
A year ago, Anthony Harris could’ve gotten any contract he wanted. This is not a knock on him because he is still performing at a high level, but he is older than Williams and Maye at 29 years old. Giving him the projected five-year deal that people think he will get may be too costly and too risky. However, If the Raiders did sign Harris, they’re getting a top-tier free safety. Harris excels in reading coverage and being the hawk of the defense, exactly what’s missing.
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