The Raiders do not have many players left that predate Jon Gruden‘s return, but they have targeted one they would like to retain in free agency. They are in talks with Nicholas Morrow about a return, Vic Tafur of The Athletic tweets.
A Division III success story who joined the team as a UDFA during Reggie McKenzie‘s GM tenure, Morrow has been a contributor at linebacker in each of his four Raiders seasons. If unsigned by March 17, he will be an unrestricted free agent. The Raiders gave Morrow a second-round RFA tender last year.
The 25-year-old defender is coming off his best season, one in which he started a career-high 11 games. Morrow also established benchmarks in tackles (78), tackles for loss (eight) and sacks (three). Pro Football Focus rated him as a top-30 off-ball ‘backer in 2020.
A Morrow re-up would be interesting, given the Raiders’ actions last year. They spent heavily at linebacker during the 2020 free agency period. They signed Cory Littleton to a lucrative deal and gave Nick Kwiatkoski a respectable pact as well. The Gruden 2.0-era Raiders have also added the likes of Tahir Whitehead, Vontaze Burfict, Brandon Marshall and Derrick Johnson. Only Whitehead played a big role among this contingent and is now elsewhere, but the franchise has been active in free agency at linebacker.
Las Vegas has Littleton and Kwiatkoski under contract in 2021; the two combine to count for more than $20MM on the Raiders’ 2021 cap sheet. It will be interesting to see if the team devotes notable funds to keeping Morrow.
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