Raiders Signing Stephon Gilmore Would Make Them A Contender

In the 2022 off-season, the Las Vegas Raiders have already made a number of big moves. Most notably, the acquisition of Davante Adams. The best receiver in the NFL, he raises the Vegas offense to elite status. On the defensive side of the ball, they added pass rush extraordinaire Chandler Jones. One of the best pass rushers of his generation, he is an immediate upgrade over Yannick Ngakuoe and gives the defense two elite pieces on the edge.

However, while the Raiders are improved, they may need some help in other spots. Namely, cornerback as last year’s CB1 Casey Hayward now resides in Atlanta. So far, Las Vegas has added Rock Ya-Sin to its cornerback group via trade. A quality, up-and-coming player, he figures to be a starter in 2022. Next to him is likely to be a former second-round pick, Trayvon Mullen. While he has lots of potential, he played in just fives games in 2021 due to injury. They also added former Baltimore Raven Anthony Averett although he figures to be a depth piece.

Stephon Gilmore changes the defense

Luckily for Las Vegas, there is a game-changing cornerback still available. That would be former Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore. At 31 years old, many would believe Gilmore doesn’t have much left to offer. Especially coming off a season where he was traded to the Carolina Panthers. However, the quality play never stopped as he was able to nab two interceptions in just three starts in 2021. He also earned a quality grade of 77.1 from PFF.

Of course, the new lead men in Las Vegas, Dave Ziegler, and Josh McDaniels, know Gilmore well. Ziegler, now the Raiders general manager, was the director of pro personnel in New England when they signed Gilmore back in 2017. Overseeing his best years as a pro, it is not a surprise that he is again interested in adding him to his team.

Gilmore, even at 31, would be a transformational player for the Las Vegas Raiders defense. A true lockdown cornerback, he has experience playing at a high level and in the biggest games. His leadership and knowledge could also prove invaluable for youngsters such as Mullen, Ya-Sin, and Nate Hobbs. If the Raiders are looking to compete for a championship in 2022, adding a former Super Bowl champion who can still contribute like Gilmore would be a step in the right direction.

Top photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

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