Las Vegas Raiders: Player with most to prove at each offensive position in 2021
Offensive Line: Andre James, Center
It’s not often you see a player get a big-money extension before playing much meaningful football for a team but that was the case for Andre James this offseason. After trading away Rodney Hudson, the Raiders promoted James to the starting center role and could have waited for the year to play out before giving him an extension as James was set to be a free agent after the 2021 season.
Instead, they gave James a two-year, $8.6 million deal that will keep him a Raider through the 2023 season. They did however build in a potential out where they could release him after the 2021 season and face a dead cap hit of just $1.5 million.
Obviously, they are hoping that they don’t have to do that but they also brought in Nick Martin from the Houston Texans in case James is not up to snuff as the starter.
Alex Leatherwood, Richie Incognito, and Denzelle Good are all players that could qualify for this but only James has been given a big extension and some struggles are to be expected for the rookie Leatherwood despite his high draft position. If James can step in and play close to the level of Hudson then the Raiders offensive line will be in fine shape, but if not, then there will be many critics wondering why the team did not try to work things out with the veteran lineman.