The Las Vegas Raiders continue to have a need in their defensive backfield, and one pending free agent should be a main priority this offseason.
The Las Vegas Raiders enter the 2023 NFL offseason with issues on both sides of the ball, and while some are new, like at quarterback, some have been an issue for quite some time now. In fact, the Silver and Black have had problems in their defensive backfield for as long as I can remember, something they try to remedy seemingly every offseason.
From first-round picks to big money spent in free agency, the Raiders franchise just cannot seem to get it right at both the Safety and Cornerback position. However, this offseason a player may be available that could change their fortunes in a big way at Safety.
Recently, news came down that the Cincinnati Bengals would not re-tagging Jessie Bates, their Pro Bowl safety that has rounded into one of the best in the game at his position group. If Bates does become available, Las Vegas needs to make him one of their priority free-agent targets this offseason.
Raiders need Jessie Bates III in the worst way
Bates is only going into his age-26 season and has already been an All-Pro, earning second-team honors back in 2020. He has also been a huge reason why the Cincinnati Bengals have become one of the best teams in the AFC and even has a Super Bowl interception off of Matthew Stafford back in Super Bowl LVI.
He is as battle-tested a player as there is at the position group this offseason, and is fresh off a 2022 season that saw him set a career-high with four interceptions. With Trevon Moehrig taking a step back in production last season, and Duron Harmon, Roderic Teamer, and even Matthias Farley entering free agency, Bates could step right in and be a huge answer in the defensive backfield in Las Vegas.
This year’s free agency and draft seasons will prove to be one of the biggest in recent memory for the Raiders franchise, as they hold a ton of draft capital, as well as a large amount of cap space. Defensive backs are an area that the team should look to veterans to fill the gaps this offseason, as the long line of young draft picks have yet to yield a long-term solution at either safety or cornerback.