ESPN REPORT: Las Vegas Raiders Confirm On The Verge Of Securing Former CB With 115 Career Starts

### Raiders Urged to Sign Former DPOY or Experienced CB

As the Las Vegas Raiders progress through organized team activities (OTAs), they are evaluating their cornerback depth. Despite cornerback being a known offseason need, the team has made minimal moves to bolster the position. This could indicate an intention to sign a veteran free agent, with several notable cornerbacks still available.

Matt Holder of Bleacher Report suggests the Raiders should target either Stephon Gilmore or Steven Nelson.

“The Athletic’s Tashan Reed reported that Las Vegas began OTAs with Brandon Facyson and Jakorian Bennett taking first-team reps at cornerback,” Holder wrote in a May 25 column. “Facyson missed most of last season due to injury, and Bennett, who started the season, eventually lost his starting spot.

“Although these two are expected to compete for the starting position opposite Jack Jones, who is currently sidelined with an injury, Jones also lacks starting experience. Therefore, the Raiders need a proven No. 1 cornerback, and Nelson or Gilmore would be the best options at this stage.”

#### Stephon Gilmore or Steven Nelson?
Of the two, Gilmore has a more distinguished career. The 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and a five-time Pro Bowler, Gilmore, at 33, may have slowed down but remains a reliable starter. He played all 17 games last season for the Dallas Cowboys’ top-five defense.

Nelson, though less decorated, is experienced with 115 career starts across four teams, most recently the Houston Texans. While he’s never been a Pro Bowler, he has consistently secured starting roles. At 31, he is younger than Gilmore.

Gilmore’s familiarity with defensive coordinator Patrick Graham’s system, stemming from their time under Bill Belichick, makes him an attractive option.

#### Considering Xavien Howard
Holder did not mention Xavien Howard, another viable candidate. Howard, who played under Graham with the Miami Dolphins in 2019, would be a seamless fit due to his understanding of the defense. At 30, Howard has twice led the NFL in interceptions, though his injury history is a concern. Despite missing only four games last season, he ended the year with a foot injury, prompting the Dolphins to release him.

Given his track record, Howard could be worth the risk, potentially providing a year or two of high-level play. While he might be pricier than Gilmore or Nelson, his fit and potential impact make him a strong candidate for the Raiders.

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