While the Las Vegas Raiders addressed most of their defense this free agency period, one position remains untouched.
Hiring Gus Bradley as defensive coordinator could end up being the Raiders’ most important move of the offseason. His track record’s solid and certainly inspires more confidence than Paul Guenther ever did. To aid Bradley’s quest in uplifting his defensive unit, the team moved quickly these past few weeks though they have yet to sign a free safety.
Picking up Yannick Ngakoue and bringing back Nicholas Morrow were big moves but the defensive backfield is another question. The Raiders cut ties with Lamarcus Joyner and Erik Harris, this leaves the team rather bare at safety.
So what do the Raiders do now at free safety?
Ed Graney of the Las Vegas Review-Journal recently brought up his concerns on the position. There are still some free agent options as he points out, Malik Hooker and Tre Boston to just name a couple. However, none of those players are long-term answers.
“The best free-agent options have gone elsewhere, so it’s not the worst thing to wait. Free safety isn’t as valued a position as others across the NFL market.“
The organization could also draft one but this draft class isn’t exactly loaded at safety this year. Drafting one at number 17 would be a reach, even more so when the Raiders need a right tackle.
Another possibility is that the team simply puts a hand aid on this situation, at least for this year. Jeff Heath isn’t an All-Pro but he wasn’t bad either. It’s plausible that Heath and Johnathan Abram are the safeties next season. For now, we’ll have to wait and see how this situation develops with the NFL draft inching closer.
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