Denzel Perryman is heading west again. The Raiders and Panthers agreed to a deal Wednesday night that will send the veteran linebacker to Las Vegas, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The Panthers have announced the trade.
The former Chargers starter will return to the AFC West in a pick-swap trade, with the Panthers receiving a sixth-round pick and the Raiders acquiring Perryman and a seventh-rounder, per Schefter (on Twitter). This will represent another fresh-start attempt for Perryman and give the Raiders some help on their suddenly weakened defensive second level.
Carolina signed Perryman to a two-year, $6MM deal, guaranteeing the former second-round pick $2.99MM. The 28-year-old defender is due to earn base salaries of $990K and $1MM on this contract. The Panthers had seen Jermaine Carter perform well enough during training camp to anoint him as a starter alongside Shaq Thompson. Carter becoming Carolina’s starting middle linebacker left Perryman in limbo, a familiar position for the formerly supplanted Bolts starting inside ‘backer.
Las Vegas is currently down starter Nicholas Morrow, and Jon Gruden said the fifth-year Raider may be out a while. Backup Raiders linebacker Javin White is also on the mend, amplifying a need here. Perryman, however, has also battled injuries this year. He missed time at Panthers training camp due to a hip injury and is battling foot trouble after at teammate stepped on one of his feet this week, Joe Person of The Athletic notes (subscription required).
A bonus for Perryman’s hopes of stabilizing his career: this move will reunite him with former Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, whom the Raiders hired this year. Perryman, who will follow longtime Charger teammate Casey Hayward to Vegas, showed promise early in his career with the Bolts, recording 16 tackles for loss over his first two seasons. Injuries intervened over the next two seasons, but he later signed an extension to stay in Los Angeles. Despite the six-year vet’s playing time dwindling on that second Bolts deal — down to 31% of L.A.’s defensive snaps last season — Perryman graded as one of Pro Football Focus’ top run-defending linebackers in 2020.
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