A trending Las Vegas Raiders news story has been the need for another pass rusher, for depth purposes, of course. This comes on the heels of some disappointing news that Kyler Fackrell will be out for the year.
There were high hopes for Fackrell this offseason. Many fans hoped he’d turn into a solid rotational piece behind the Raiders’ duo of Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones. In fact, as training camp progressed, it was expected that Fackrell would be competing for snaps with players such as Malcolm Koonce and another new addition, Tashawn Bower. His production was certainly notable (seven sacks in the last two seasons) and surely would’ve been helpful for the Raiders. Regrettably, Fackrell will miss this upcoming season, leaving the Raiders short-handed.
Should the Las Vegas Raiders add another player to their rotation?
A name that’s being thrown around is Dee Ford. The former Pro Bowler was released by the San Francisco 49ers because he has been unable to consistently stay healthy throughout his career.
The #49ers gave Dee Ford a five-year, $85.5M contract back in 2019.
Ford during that contract, was limited to 21 GMS and recorded 10.5 sacks and 10 TFL.
— Brandon Carr (@bcarr_13) July 27, 2022
It’s very much a high-risk, high-reward scenario with Ford. He wouldn’t be counted on to be an every-down rusher, so that bodes well for him. When he was healthy, his impact was undeniable. Take 2018, for example. With the Kansas City Chiefs, Ford tallied seven forced fumbles and 13 sacks while playing in 16 regular season games. Or look at 2019, when Ford had six and a half sacks in 11 games played for the 49ers. If healthy, there’s no reason to think that Ford can’t get four to seven sacks in a rotational role for the Raiders.
It’s not every day you can add a three-time Pro Bowler and former All-Pro to your edge rotation. Jason Pierre-Paul is 33 years old but has mostly been reliable in the last few years. As a key member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Super Bowl-winning defense, Pierre-Paul is still awaiting a call for his services. Though his sack numbers have steadily declined (2.5 in 2021, 9.5 in 2020), as a rotational piece, Pierre-Paul should be able to make an impact.
On a team that’s starving for quality depth, the Raiders could inevitably use one of the NFL’s most experienced pass rushers. He’s proven to be relatively healthy, which is impressive at his age. Plugging him in to take Fackrell’s place is an immediate upgrade, no disrespect to Fackrell. A rotation featuring Pierre-Paul behind Crosby and Jones would be solid in Patrick Graham’s first year as defensive coordinator.
Raiders News: Should Carl Nassib get another shot?
Nassib made headlines not only in Raiders news last season, but across the world. His story of being the first openly gay player sent shockwaves across the NFL and was seen as a huge victory for the LGBTQ movement. However, Nassib had been signed to a deal worth well over $25 million, with $16.75 guaranteed. Considering the production that the Raiders received, it was clear that this contract was lopsided and the new regime in Vegas cut ties. However, Nassib is, by all accounts, well-liked in the locker room. Under a more team-friendly deal and with an understanding that he’d be a rotational player, expectations could be more grounded in a second go around with the Raiders.
*Top Photo: USA Today Images