Raiders Need David Amerson To Play Like A $38M Cornerback

It was a bumpy road traveled to the four-year, $38 million contract David Amerson signed with the Raiders last week.

A second-round pick in 2013, Amerson turned in a mostly encouraging rookie campaign. He started 15 games in his second season with the Redskins, but was one of the least productive cornerbacks in the league recording no interceptions and only seven passes defensed. Amerson’s time in Washington came to a close in 2015 after an ugly season opener against the Dolphins – a game in which he conceded a score on the last of seven consecutive passes attempts thrown in his direction.

Amerson arrived in Oakland off waivers and quickly turned his career around. By all accounts, his complacent approach to the game was left behind in Washington.

With nearly $18 million in guaranteed money, Amerson’s deal isn’t far from what the Raiders will pay Sean Smith – one of the top cornerbacks in the league. The question now… which David Amerson will the Raiders get? A player satisfied or one still determined to prove himself?

Amerson will turn 25 during the season and by all accounts – including his own – seems to have grown as a person and a player, but he’s still less than a year removed from the work habits that caused him to fall out of favor in Washington

Via the San Francisco Chronicle, these were Amerson’s remarks on his new approach to playing professional football:

“Once I got here, I matured. I came in the league and I was 21 years old. I was taking that transition of becoming a professional (for granted)… Compared to when I was in Washington, instead of going home and playing video games all night and stuff like that, it was a much different approach… Looking at my notes on whatever team we were playing that week… It’s really just the little stuff. That’s what football is; it’s a game of inches. It just gave me that extra beat that I needed on Sunday to make plays out there.”

Assuming they do play to their capabilities, Amerson and Smith give the Raiders one of the most imposing cornerback tandems in the league. At 6’1 (with 32 5/8” arms) Amerson is slated to start opposite Smith who has even more length (6’3 with 34 5/8” arms).

If nothing else, the Raiders – and their fans – have plenty of reason for optimism. For the first time in a long time, the secondary should be one of the team’s strengths.

Twitter: @raidersbeat



1 thought on “Raiders Need David Amerson To Play Like A $38M Cornerback

  1. The reason for the sudden change in Amersons play has nothing to do with his work ethic and everything to do with the scheme he was playing in. Redskins switched to a zone scheme a year after Amerson was drafted, which caused him to struggle mightily as he is not a zone corner, not unlike what happened to Asomugha in Philly, just in reverse. Oakland now has 2 man coverage corners who will suffocate opposing WR’s and completely take their two best targets out of the game. What’s better is that Smith will have zero transitional time as he will be doing the exact same thing he was before, which doesn’t really rely on his teammates. So they’ll form one if the best tandems in the league right off the bat, and with our pass vicious pass rush they should look even better. Carrie looked really good his rookie season in the slot, so he should be more then capable of holding his own there now, especially with an improved pass rush. All signs point to a potential monster defense that just needs to play a game to prove it.

Comments are closed.