Last week, in the aftermath of the Las Vegas Raiders’ signing slot wide receiver Hunter Renfrow, to a contract extension, ESPN NFL reporter Jeremy Fowler had an interesting nugget.
Fowler reported the Raiders, who extend quarterback Derek Carr and pass-rusher Maxx Crosby this offseason in addition to Renfrow, are also discussing new deals with tight end Darren Waller and linebacker Denzel Perryman.
With Hunter Renfrow deal done, Raiders can address other contracts. TE Darren Waller (two years left on deal) is expected to be a priority. And Las Vegas has talked w/ LB Denzel Perryman about a new contract. Perryman made Pro Bowl, owed $1.035M base salary in final year of deal— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) June 10, 2022
The Waller report in the tweet isn’t a surprise. The Raiders and his agents have been talking and he is badly underpaid. but the Perryman portion of the report was newsworthy.
We really didn’t know how the new Las Vegas brass felt about Perryman until then. There has been rumblings that he is not a great fit for for Patrick Graham’s defense and he could be reduced to a role player. However, if the Raiders are talking about extending Perryman, the new coaching staff clearly likes him and thinks he is, indeed, a good fit.
The previous Las Vegas regime traded for Perryman just before the start of last season because there was a spate of injuries at linebacker in the preseason. Perryman played for then-Las Vegas defensive coordinator Gus Bradley with the Chargers and it was a good, late-preseason addition.
Perryman, who turns 30 in December, went on to have a tremendous season as he was sixth in the NFL with 154 tackles and he missed two games. He made the Pro Bowl in Las Vegas.
Thus far, new Las Vegas linebacker coach Antonio Pearce has been impressed by Perryman’s approach and leadership this offseason.
“He’s got swag. He’s from Miami, right? He’s a proud Hurricane,” Pearce said last week at the team’s minicamp. “I’ve known him for a while obviously, maybe not on a personal level, but from afar. What he brings is not even just swag, but attitude and professionalism. I’ll say more importantly, leadership. When he talks the room gets a little quieter and you want that from somebody on your defense, and you really like that from the linebacker position. Being biased a little bit, you want the heart of your team in that linebacker room. And he really carries that and obviously he has fun doing it. I think that makes my job easier as well.”
So, in an offseason in which the new Las Vegas leadership have identified players to build around, it seems like we need to add Perryman to the list.