Kyle Long

Kyle Long can bolster Raiders offensive line if healthy

The Las Vegas Raiders need to add talent to their offensive line this offseason. They recently moved on from a few key contributors and need to replenish the unit. That’s why it makes sense for them to kick the tires on offensive guard Kyle Long, who recently unretired.

The legal tampering period has started and the Long is visiting the Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs, per Adam Schefter of ESPN. A first-round selection by the Chicago Bears, Long made three straight Pro Bowls before injuries derailed his NFL career. He started 47 games in his first three seasons but only in 29 the following four.

Drafted as a guard, the Oregon product has lined up at different positions. Although he posted Pro Football Grades above 70.0 over his first five years in the NFL, he had a measly 38.0 in 2019, the last season he played. Maybe he’s finally healthy, but the Raiders have to err on the side of caution on this one.

Related: Raiders Should Consider DT DaQuan Jones If They Want Toughness 

The Raiders would need to bet on Kyle Long to stay healthy

The Raiders need to replenish their offensive line this offseason. They released left guard Richie Incognito and right guard Gabe Jackson. Moreover, they traded right tackle Trent Brown to the New England Patriots, so it’s not hyperbole to say they have their work cut out.

Long could replace either Jackson or Incognito, but Las Vegas is banking on him to stay healthy, something he hasn’t been able to do in years. Perhaps the team’s brass is just performing due diligence. Regardless, they must make sure quarterback Derek Carr has got optimal protection. He had his best statistical season in 2020 and if the Raiders don’t want to take a step back in 2021, they can’t afford to field a band-aid offensive line.

On the bright side, there’s still plenty of time for the Raider to get make a move. The legal tampering period has started but free agency officially hasn’t. They could bring back Incognito, as Vic Tafur of The Athletic suggested. They could also target Joe Thuney if they are willing to invest in the guard position.

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Top Photo: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

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