Raiders Could Be In Market For CB, RB Additions

One of the central storylines for the Raiders during training camp will be the competition for the starting quarterback position. This summer will serve as a key evaluation period at several other spots, though, and additions could be made depending on how Vegas’ in-house options perform.

The cornerback spot has frequently been mentioned as a potential weak spot on the Raiders’ defense. Nate Hobbs is on track to handle first-team duties in the slot, while Jack Jones is believed to be set to handle one of the starting perimeter roles. The other is available to Jakorian Bennett and Brandon Facyson for at least the time being, but Vegas bringing in an outside contender would not come as a surprise.

The Raiders were interested in veteran cover man Steven Nelson prior to his retirement, Vic Tafur of The Athletic writes (subscription required). Nelson played 140 regular and postseason games, but last month he elected to hang up his cleats. That decision thinned the cornerback market to a degree, but the likes of Stephon GilmoreXavien Howard, Adoree’ Jackson and Patrick Peterson are still on the market.

Like many veterans at this time of year, any of the available corners could likely be added by the Raiders or any other interested team at a relatively low cost. Vegas has over $34MM in cap space, but the team is unlikely to make a lucrative addition in the absence of a major injury. Nevertheless, Tafur predicts Vegas will pursue a signing (not unlike that of Marcus Peters last year) at or around the beginning of training camp.

Likewise, the team’s backfield could see a new face this summer. Josh Jacobs‘ departure has the paved the way for Zamir White to ascend to a starter’s workload, a role he held late last year. The 2022 fourth-rounder impressed when Jacobs was injured, and he could cement his RB1 status over free agent signing Alexander Mattison with a strong showing in camp. As Tafur adds, though, an underwhelming performance by either early in the summer could drive new general manager Tom Telesco to seek out a signing.

Dalvin Cook, Kareem Hunt, Jerick McKinnon and Latavius Murray are some of the backfield options still available. That group also includes Brandon Bolden, who spent the past two years with the Raiders in a special teams capacity. A reunion on the latter front or an outside addition is feasible given Vegas’ cap situation, and it will be interesting to see if Telesco pursues one this summer.

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