So far this offseason the Raiders have brought back two of their own who were impending free agents. Today, the team announced that they have signed cornerback Nevin Lawson to a one-year extension worth $3.29 million.
Lawson joined the Raiders last season as a free agent after spending five seasons with the Detroit Lions. He saw a major uptick in playing time towards the end of the season when injuries began to mount in the secondary. Playing in nearly 60 percent of the snaps in the final seven games of the year, Lawson proved to be a good depth signing.
His best game came against the Jaguars in Week 15 when he combined for 8 tackles (solo/assist) and a tackle for a loss. He recorded four pass breakups against the Chargers in week 16. In 11 game appearances (five starts), Lawson recorded 23 tackles, two tackles for loss, and five pass break ups. Pro Football Focus gave Lawson a middling grade of 60.8.
Heading into 2020 the secondary again is in need of an influx of talent. Trayvon Mullen has the look of a true No. 1 corner, but after him there is not a reliable option. Daryl Worley has versatility which the coaching staff likes, but he’s largely been a disappointment and is a free agent.
Isaiah Johnson, who struggled to get on the field this season due to injuries, could be an option. Based on the buzz surrounding him before the facial injury he suffered occurred, the coaching staff will certainly give him a look.
In Lawson, the secondary has a guy who has experience and can spot start in a pinch, but he is not a guy you want to rely on for a full 16 games.
Addressing the secondary via free agency or draft should be one of the top priorities in the offseason.