The Raiders need as much help as they can get on defense. Considering the current state of the unit, adding almost any player would represent an upgrade. With that said, the Raiders enter the 2021 free agency period with a lack of cap space. Here are four cornerbacks that likely won’t be worth a large contract in 2021 but the Silver and Black should avoid.
What four cornerbacks should the Raiders avoid?
A few years ago, Norman might not have made this list. However, his performance has decline significantly. The 2015 All-Pro nod is now 33 years old, and his most notable moment from the 2020 season did not go in his favor.
Norman just doesn’t have as much to offer as he once did, and as he keeps going up in age, it doesn’t seem like things will get better. The veteran is likely going to get a one-year deal with incentives. At this point of his career, he shouldn’t hold a number-two cornerback role for a full-season, and the Raiders don’t need to be signing any more depth pieces at cornerback.
This is a name Raiders’ fans are all too familiar with. D.J. Hayden started his career with injury problems, and unfortunately for him, those problems have plagued him throughout his career. Hayden has now hit the age of 30, and he has played a full 16 game season just twice. During the 2020 season, he was only able to make six appearances.
After being selected with the 12th pick by the Raiders in 2013, Hayden only has four career interceptions. After his time with the Raiders, the Houston product has spent time with the Lions and Jaguars, and has struggled to hold down a starting job with both.
While it seems like a no-brainer, this is the Raiders we are talking about, so you never know what they’re gonna do. One thing they shouldn’t do is re-unite with Hayden.
Four years ago, Bouye was a key member of the Jaguars elite defense and one of the best cornerbacks in the league. Playing opposite of Jalen Ramsey, he put fear into the opposing quarterbacks.
Now? Not so much. Bouye allowed catches on 23 of the 36 passes thrown his way. Pro Football Focus proceeded to grade him as the worst starting cornerback in the NFL last year. The UCF was also forced into a spot on the injured reserve early in the year, as well as a six-game suspension for PED’s. He will need to miss two games in 2021 because of that suspension.
Could it have just been a down year for the former Pro Bowler? Sure, but Bouye looked just the same as the cornerbacks the Raiders fielded last year, and adding him doesn’t seem like much of an upgrade. With Las Vegas’ current salary cap situation, spending a lot of money on a declining cornerback who doesn’t have as much to offer anymore just doesn’t seem like the best decision.
So far, Quinton Dunbar has found his name in the headlines for all the wrong reasons in his young career. He was hit with a bit of bad luck last year, finding himself on the commissioners exempt list after being charged for an armed robbery. The corner was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing, but once he got on the field his struggles continued. He finished the 2020 season ranked 110th out of 121 eligible cornerbacks by Pro Football Focus.
Dunbar is still very young, and he has more than enough room to improve. He could very well go on the have a great career. Nevertheless, he struggled mightily last year, and right now the risk/reward in signing him just isn’t there. The Raiders should pass on Dunbar this offseason.
Helluva route from Brandon Aiyuk on the goal-line.
Juked Quinton Dunbar out of his shoes….he’s turning into WR1 on this squad. pic.twitter.com/1nmE7X54H2
— Akash Anavarathan (@akashanav) November 2, 2020
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Top Photo: Jeff Bottari Associated Press