Raiders a “Dark Horse” to Sign J.J. Watt?

Are the Raiders in the mix to sign free agent defensive lineman J.J. Watt?

A report on Wednesday from league insider John Clayton called the Raiders a “dark horse” to sign Watt, but he also said Tennessee, Green Bay, and Buffalo are the current front runners to sign him.

There is no question that Watt can still play at a high level, but he will turn 32 in March and injuries have caused him to miss 8 or more games in three of the last five years. ESPN is reporting that Watt already has at least one offer of more than $15 million and it’s safe to assume that offer didn’t come from the Raiders.

The Raiders need help on defense, but they don’t have the cap space to overspend on a player that tends to lack the one quality Jon Gruden demands from every player: availability. It sounds like the Raiders made a call to Watt’s agent, but it was probably more of a check-in to make sure it wasn’t Watts’ lifelong dream to live in Las Vegas.

The good news, though, is that the Raiders are going to be aggressive in adding a couple defensive linemen. Jon Gruden has been feeling the sting of trading Khalil Mack for three years and he is tired of trying to win without a pass rush. Who knows what defensive lineman (or linemen) he is targeting, but don’t rule out the Raiders using this year’s first-round pick to trade for one.

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