Latest Raiders News: Raiders in talk to sign top experienced Sack Leader in free agency

ESPN’s Aaron Schatz went over and suggested a last action that every team should take this offseason. The decision made by the Las Vegas Raiders was to sign a free agent—defense end Yannick Ngakoue, a guy the team is familiar with—rather than Xavien Howard, Stephon Gilmore, or any other cornerback or running back. Schatz outlined the rationale behind the Raiders’ reunion with Ngakoue as follows:

“The Raiders have a superstar edge rusher in Maxx Crosby but a real depth problem behind him,” Schatz stated. As of right now, Malcolm Koonce will start on the outside and Tyree Wilson will be moved inside. In 2023, Koonce had an unexpectedly good season, recording eight sacks and thirty-one pressures on defenses that were occupied double-teaming Crosby. However, all of the young free agents and seasoned journeymen are behind him. In the event that Koonce or Crosby miss time due to injury, the Raiders will have a reliable veteran edge rusher in Ngakoue, who can cycle with Koonce.”

Although it looks like the Raiders could use more depth at defensive end, I do think that the scenario is comparable to that of the cornerback room. Would the Raiders rather invest in developing young talent at the position or spend money on a free agent who might improve them slightly? Tyree Wilson, a second-year athlete in his first season of full health who the Raiders recently selected with their first-round pick in 2023, is the emerging talent.

Possible drawback
It is troubling and even detrimental to sign Ngakoue, a 29-year-old defensive end, because he will be recovering from a fractured ankle he suffered in Week 14 of the previous campaign. Before being sidelined by this injury, Ngakoue contributed regularly throughout his professional career, averaging at least 8.0 sacks every season. The edge rusher has never had a serious injury in his NFL career, so you would expect he would play with the same intensity and productivity as before, but are the Raiders ready to take that chance?

In his lone and final season with the Raiders in 2021, Ngakoue led the team with 10.0 sacks.

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