Truth be told, the Las Vegas Raiders have had a bit of a revolving door in their defensive line over the past decade or so. They’ve been solid at edge rusher, producing two of the better edge rushers in that same time span. Besides Khalil Mack and Maxx Crosby, though, the unit has been a game of musical chairs. Another stalwart on the defensive line would elevate the team very quickly. Well, thankfully, NFL free agency is almost here.
Here are three defensive line free agents that could make a difference for the Raiders in 2023.
NFL Free Agency: 3 Targets That The Raiders Must Prioritize
Starting off, we have an experienced veteran hitting the open market. Fletcher has had a long, storied career, and at the ripe age of 32, he is still producing. Cox has played in every game this season and finished the year with seven sacks, seven tackles for a loss, and 14 quarterback hits.
Cox will be 33 next season, and it’s fair to say his better days are behind him. However, Cox has anchored a fantastic Philadelphia defense and has clearly shown he still has the ability to be a difference-maker. If the Raiders could be fortunate enough to lure Cox in without being in salary cap hell, then it would be a huge addition to the defense.
This is a familiar face who would be welcomed back on the defense. Ngakoue spent some time with the Raiders throughout the 2021 season and played well. Then, Las Vegas brought in a new regime, and those folks preferred Chandler Jones. Ngakoue was subsequently shipped to Indianapolis.
That decision turned out to be the wrong one for Las Vegas. Ngakoue had a great year with the Colts, finishing with 9.5 sacks, eight tackles for a loss, and 16 quarterback hits. That stat line is much better than Chandler’s. However, Ngakoue will once again be made available this offseason via free agency. He’s been a difference-maker for the Raiders before, and he can do it again. Ngakoue would be an excellent defensive line free agent to sign.
Finally, we end with another Philadelphia Eagle. Quinn has been an excellent player and one of the premier defensive linemen in the league for a long time. Robert was traded from Chicago to Philadelphia midseason and has struggled with injuries ever since, unfortunately.
Knee issues have prevented Quinn from making the difference he would have hoped to make during this playoff run. However, in his last full season, Quinn was excellent. His 18.5 sacks, 17 tackles for a loss, and 22 quarterback hits were extremely impressive. Quinn will be easily healthy by the time next season starts and will be an absolute force paired with Maxx Crosby.
*Top Photo: Justin Casterline/Getty Images