This off-season, the new regime for the Raiders decided to rework the team’s linebacker core. What did they change and how does this help what Las Vegas’ plans to do defensively?
After a loss against the Cincinnati Bengals in last year’s postseason, the Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis decided to roll the dice with a new general manager and head coach combination. With this new pair now sailing the ship, big changes came to the roster, resulting in multiple units now being compromised of new faces.
The linebacker core was no exception to this – After all, the two biggest cuts for the Raiders this off-season both came at the linebacker position, albeit neither was a surprise.
Cutting both Nick Kwiatoski and Cory Littleton, with the former being designated as a post-June first cut, left the Silver and Black with three linebackers on the roster; ’21 Pro Bowler Denzel Perryman, ’21 rookie Divine Deablo and Justin March who’s yet to appear in a game as a Raider.
Las Vegas’ front office waited a few days before getting the ball rolling on addressing their deflated linebacker unit once free agency began, but eventually managed to gather a balanced group of respectable assets at the position.
Now running a multi-front scheme with a 3-4 as the primary front, which is a front the Raiders haven’t used since 2017, it only made sense a new core for the unit would be molded – And that’s just what general manager Dave Ziegler has done. Who are these new linebackers and how do they fit in with defensive coordinator Patrick Graham’s scheme? Let’s talk about it.