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Raiders free agency preview: Carolina DBs

New coach Jason Simmons could bring some friends to Las Vegas

Carolina Panthers v Arizona Cardinals
Donte Johnson (26)
Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

We previously looked at a potential fit of Carolina Panthers cornerback Stephon Gilmore in free agency for the Las Vegas Raiders.

However, Gilmore, who has several ties to the Raiders’ new staff, isn’t the only Panthers defensive back who may draw the interest of Las Vegas when teams can start taking to free agents in 13 days.

However, most of the free agents from Carolina may be bargains unlike Gilmore. However, the Raiders’ staff has solid inside info on these players. Of course, the Raiders’ new defensive backs coach Jason Simmons, who was the passing defensive coordinator and secondary coach in Carolina.

There are decent options from Carolina. Along with Gilmore, Donte Johnson could be an interesting option for the Raiders at cornerback. The second-round pick from LSU in 2018 has started 51 games in four seasons and has 51 starts. He has 12 career interceptions. He could be a solid and likely affordable pick-up to replace Casey Hawyard as a starter if Hayward leaves in free agency.

Rashaan Melvin, who played for the Raiders in 2018, is also a free agent and could interest Simmons in a backup role.

Carolina Panthers v Buffalo Bills
Juston Burris
Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images

At safety is Juston Burris, if the Raiders want to give Johnathan Abram, who could potentially be entering the final year of his contract in Las Vegas, this season. Burris started eight games in 2021 and could be an affordable addition, perhaps as a key backup.

Another backup safety option in free agency for the Raiders could be Carolina’s Sean Chandler, who started seven games last season. In addition to having played for Simmons, Chandler also played for new Raiders’ defensive coordinator Patrick Graham with the New York Giants in 2020.