Raiders Might Have No Choice But to Go Hard After This Defensive Player in Free Agency

The Raiders are about to enter the 2020 season with somewhere around, or maybe even above, $70 million in salary cap room. That’s the good news.

The bad news is they have a lot of holes to fill and unfortunately the free agent pool doesn’t necessarily seem to fit their needs. The market looks to be stocked with above-average pass rushers, running backs, and tight ends – and ironically the Raiders aren’t as incompetent at those positions as they have been in the past.

The Raiders need a wide receiver and interior linebacker, but the free agent market is way down at both positions this year. Expect the Raiders to rely on the draft for their biggest upgrade at wide receiver (you may have heard it’s a stacked rookie class at WR), but they won’t have the same luxury at linebacker. For that reason, expect the Raiders to go hard after Rams inside linebacker Cory Littleton. Thanks to the Rams disastrous salary cap situation, the 26 year-old inside linebacker is expected to hit free agency and would be a significant upgrade for the Raiders in the middle of Paul Guenther’s defense.

“I don’t know that any linebacker is playing as well as he is in both areas. He’s way ahead of everybody in the league as far as pass coverage,” Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said a year ago of Littleton. Strong praise for a player that wasn’t even drafted in 2016.

A linebacker who can cover, you say?

Oh yes. Littleton was the Rams highest-graded defender in coverage this year, according to Pro Football Focus – and that is including members of the Rams secondary. Littleton also earned the Rams highest tackling grade, so he legitimately can do everything the Raiders are needing at linebacker.

Considering the rest of the free agent market at linebacker, don’t be surprised if the Raiders pay a premium to add Littleton, who grew up in Southern California. Surely the 26 year-old wouldn’t mind moving east by a few hours, cashing a huge check, and paying a lot less income tax in a few months, right?

twitter: @raidersbeat


5 thoughts on “Raiders Might Have No Choice But to Go Hard After This Defensive Player in Free Agency

  1. That would be a great pick up. Then the Raiders can haul in 2 WRs in the first round and a CB with their first 3rd round pick

  2. This would be a great free agent pickup if they can get him. The top Inside Linebacker in the 2020 draft will probably be off the board when they pick, which would allow them to concentrate on a top wideout and either a cornerback or edge rusher.

  3. If Corey Littleton is as this article makes him out to be, then it’s a no brainer to make him a Raider.

  4. get two linebackers in free agency and draft wide receivers and cornerbacks…. team needs speed

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