A familiar face at a need position became available to the Raiders on Tuesday.
The Cincinnati Bengals released longtime starting cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick. He was the team’s first-round pick in 2012.
With the huge outlay of cash for the #Bengals in free agency — especially on defense — this was always a possibility. It’s late in the game, but Kirkpatrick will draw significant interest. https://t.co/NMeNLERIub— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 31, 2020
Ian Rapoport expects a robust market for Kirkpatrick. The Raiders may have to be considered a team that could make a move on Kirkpatrick. He played under Raiders’ defensive coordinator Paul Guenther from 2014-17. Guenther was the Bengals’ linebackers coach in Fitzpatrick’s first two seasons. So, they know each other extremely well.
Jon Gruden has brought in several former Guenther Cincinnati players in his first two offseasons. Yet, none have been brought in, thus far, in 2020.
Kirkpatrick only played in six games in 2019 and he has played a full season just twice in eight NFL seasons. Kirkpatrick is 30.
There are some reasons why this might not be a fit even though the Raiders have a need at cornerback.
Only two of the Raiders’ 12 free agent additions, Jason Witten and Eric Kush, are over 30. Also, the Raiders don’t have much salary cap room left
But ESPN’s Adam Schefter shared this interesting take earlier Tuesday:
A point multiple teams now have raised: Free agents that don't have signed contracts by the draft - and many don't - could put themselves in jeopardy. If a team drafts a player at a certain position, it always could rescind any agreement it had with a free agent. Different times.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 31, 2020
The Raiders have announced nine of their free agent additions. One of the three players who haven’t been announced is the lone cornerback the Raiders have agreed to – Eli Apple.
Who knows what the hold up is? But it is conceivable the Raiders could turn to Kirkpatrick instead of April. Again, I’m saying that is going to happen, but it is conceivable.
Because there is a history of the Raiders adding former Guenther players, this possibility has to be considered.