The reason why? They fit a certain mold that may attract the Raiders this offseason.
These are young, evolving players who took advantage of unexpected playing time. Also, and this is important, neither Fox nor Jenkins should be overly expensive. That’s why I can see the Raiders being in the market for players like them.
The Raiders need to have a plan in free agency because they don’t have much money to spend. With a roster that needs help — especially on defense for the longterm — finding a player who is about to enter his prime but is also cost effective is essential.
Last year, middle linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski fit that mold. He only got playing time with the Chicago Bears in 2019 because of an injury to Danny Trevathan. Kwiatkoski took advantage of that opportunity and cashed in with a three-year, $21 million deal with Las Vegas — he is now their starting free agent.
Jenkins, who played for new Las Vegas defensive coordinator Gus Bradley with the Chargers, took advantage of an injury to star safety Derwin James and Fox played well when the Rams inserted him in key situations.
Of course, Jenkins and Fox are merely examples of the type of player the Raiders may look at this year. But when you consider potential Raiders’ pursuits in free agency, think about these types of players.