Raiders News: Tom Telesco, Antonio Pierce.

Keeping The Raiders Defense Together Will Be Tough Task For GM Tom Telesco

When something is working, you don’t mess with it. Las Vegas Raiders general manager Tom Telesco appears to understand that fact, but difficult decisions still loom.

Maxx Crosby received a deal restructuring earlier this week as a reward—a way to compensate the franchise’s star player. Taking care of your home-grown talent is always smart business. Nevertheless, the question marks that should have fans worried pertain to Crosby’s cohorts on defense. Indeed, the defense played a significant role in last year’s resurgence after Josh McDaniels’ departure. 2024 will be no different; the stakes to keep the momentum going are present, but who will be there for the long term?

Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal dropped some interesting facts recently. He went on to list all of the members on defense who will soon need new deals, assuming Telesco is planning on doing so.

As far as the players go, here’s a quick rundown, including notable numbers from 2023 along with their age.

Marcus Epps, DB 28 Years Old 3 Pass Deflections, 69.7 PFF Run Defense Grade
Malcolm Koonce, DE 25 Years Old 8 Sacks, 78.9 PFF Pass Rush Grade
Divine Deablo, LB 25 Years Old 106 Total Tackles, 60.2 PFF Pass Coverage Grade
Tre’von Moehrig, DB 24 Years Old 8 Pass Deflections, 70.2 PFF Overall Grade
Nate Hobbs, CB 24 Years Old 7 Pass Deflections, 78.8 PFF Run Grade
Robert Spillane, LB 28 Years Old 7 Tackles For A Loss, 89.0 Pff Run Defense Grade

Who should the Raiders bring back on defense?

Individually, each of those players played a big part during last season’s run. What’s even more is that they’re all about to enter their playing primes, though some arguably have more upside than others. For instance, PFF has hailed Malcolm Koonce as one of the top four Raiders players. Is Koonce a player that Telesco can afford to let go of?

Then we have the defensive backs, a group of which Graham is especially proud: players such as Epps, Moehrig, and Hobbs really came into their own under the coordinator.

One more wild card to keep in mind with regard to defense—well, that would be Graham’s future. People are hailing the man who’s led the Raiders defense to a notable resurgence as a future head coach. While he remained alongside Antonio Pierce this offseason, the question will be whether he decides to stick around after this upcoming season.

*Top Photo: Getty Images

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