On Friday, the Las Vegas Raiders officially announced the signing of big-ticket free agent Yannick Ngakoue, and reportedly restructured the contract of fellow defensive end Carl Nassib.
The #Raiders' choices were:— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) March 19, 2021
A) Pay DE Carl Nassib his $5.75 million guaranteed bonus today and release him, saving $3.5 million in salary.
B) Keep him. Just pay him.
C) Restructure and just push all of that money back.
They're going with Option C.
That begs the question: Are the Raiders set at pass-rusher, their biggest need going into the season, for 2021?
They currently have Ngakoue, Maxx Crosby, Nassib, David Irving and Arden Key who all play the pass-rushing defensive end position. Ngakoue and Crosby should make a fine tandem and Nassib is locked in for 2021 after his restructure. Irving and Key are both expendable, but, at least, Irving will go to training camp with a chance to make the 53-man roster.
So, there may or may not be room for another pass rusher.
The Raiders don’t have much salary-cap room remaining and they have other needs, so they may be done adding veterans at that spot. Of course, Melvin Ingram is still available, who played for new Las Vegas defensive coordinator Gus Bradley for the past four seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers.
It’s been speculated that Ingram would sign with the Raiders, although Bradley hasn’t gone wild in adding former players (Ngakoue started his career with Bradley in Jacksonville).
If Ingram comes dirt cheap, and he might, perhaps the Raiders will sign him. They could also bring back free-agent Vic Beasley, but he didn’t do much last season.
If the Raiders don’t sign a veteran safety or right tackle. those spots may be where they go with the No. 17 overall pick in the first round of the April 29-May 1 draft, but pass rusher could be in play depending on how the board falls. At the moment, I’d think the Raiders could use the No. 79 or No. 80 picks on a pass-rusher as Raiders general manager Mike Mayock recently said it is a deep draft for sack artists.
So, there is a chance we will see more pass rushers in Las Vegas, but don’t be surprised if they stand pat, either.