With the 2021 Las Vegas Raiders roster pretty much set, these players need to perform in order to earn a new contract in 2022.
The core is set for the future
As it sits, the Raiders have much of their core players locked up through at least, 2023. Much of the team does not need new deals until 2024. This is due to the Raiders’ philosophy of building through the draft. While this core group of players still has a lot to prove, at least the Vegas front office knows what they have.
Now, like all teams, the Raiders will have plenty of expiring contracts in 2022. This is due to a plethora of one-year deals signed in the off-season. However, if we exclude new additions to the team, the Raiders are likely to have easy decisions to make in 2022.
The former UDFA linebacker will face free agency again in 2022. Throughout Morrow’s time with the Raiders, he has proven to be a steal from former general manager Reggie McKenzie. In 2020, it would not be a stretch to say that Morrow was the Raiders’ best coverage linebacker. Not great against the run, Morrow profiles as the starting weak-side linebacker in Gus Bradley’s scheme.
Morrow, currently signed to a one-year, $4.5 million contract, could be on the way out, however, with the addition of Divine Deablo. Deablo, a converted safety, will likely develop into that same WLB spot. If Morrow does lose his spot to the rookie in 2022, look for him to get a decent payday from a team looking for coverage help.
Johnathan Hankins may have been the Raiders’ best defensive player in 2020. A true nose tackle, Hankins offers almost nothing as a pass rusher. However, for a run defense that got gashed repeatedly on the edges, Hankins often eliminated the middle of the line of scrimmage. He is a valued player in the organization as well, as he just signed his second contract extension with the team in the 2021 offseason. It would be surprising for them to let Hankins go in 2022, he is a “glue guy” for the defense and has earned the right to stay.
Jonathan Hankins is lined up at the Shade & drives the Center 4-yards into the backfield which forces the RB to cut back into Ferrell. Looking forward to checking out this film. #RaiderNation pic.twitter.com/nwPGPeIiSV
— Chris Reed (@ChrisReed_NFL) November 15, 2020
A fullback getting a contract extension for most teams is unheard of in today’s NFL but it would be more surprising to see Ingold not get one. A fan favorite, Ingold can often be found paving the way for Josh Jacobs to score touchdowns. In addition to his blocking prowess, he offers reliability in the passing game. Not a game-changer by any means, but a reliable player, Ingold is likely to become the NFL’s highest-paid full back.
Hopeful for more
At the conclusion of the 2021 season, the Raiders will hope to see many other players on this list. New additions can prove themselves worthy such as John Brown, Karl Joseph, and Quinton Jefferson. Regardless, the Raiders have the core of their team set, it is now up to Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock to make it work on the field.
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*Top Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images