The Las Vegas Raiders are off to a stellar start to the 2021 season, sitting atop the AFC West standings behind a 3-0 record.
The Raiders’ success is anchored by quarterback Derek Carr and his blazing start, leading the league with 1,203 passing yards while holding a 101.4 passer rating. Las Vegas leads the NFL in total offense while ranking fifth in the league with 30.0 points per contest.
However, Las Vegas’ defense sits in the middle of the pack, giving up 24.0 points per game along with 13th against the pass. They gave up north of 25 points twice in the first three weeks, granted seven points in Week 3 came after a pick-six from Carr’s interception.
The Raiders have been able to overcome any defensive shortcomings, but it places increased importance on the franchise to build on early-season success. It also puts the Raiders on the spot toward becoming an appealing landing spot for a proven commodity.
Raiders need to to give Richard Sherman another look
Former Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman remains a free agent after parting ways with the San Francisco 49ers. Sherman hasn’t signed with a new team as he’s dealing with ongoing legal issues as he pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from the incident at his wife’s parents’ home located in Redmond, Washington.
He was charged with two counts of domestic violence as well as resisting arrest, driving while under the influence, and reckless endangerment of roadway workers. Despite those unresolved matters, Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians voiced last week that the team is exploring potentially adding Sherman.
“We got to see,” Arians said via ESPN. “He’s got other things going on, too. Just a matter of, ‘I coach the ones that we got and let [Licht] handle the rest of that.’ We’ll kick the tires on some other guys, too. But it’s just a matter of, ‘No, we’ll talk and see, and if it’s the right fit, it’s the right fit and we’ll move on it.'”
That puts a ticking clock on the Raiders, as Sherman would provide a much-needed veteran voice in the locker room along with a proven asset in the secondary. Las Vegas may already possess a significant bargaining chip as he and head coach Jon Gruden hold a strong relationship.
During an appearance on the Chris Collinsworth Podcast in February, Gruden attempted to recruit the All-Pro cornerback to which he didn’t shun away the conversation.
“Yeah, there’s a conversation to be had, for sure,” Sherman said via SB Nation. You know, I am free and available these days, fortunately, and unfortunately.”
The Raiders may hold a special opportunity ahead of making a serious playoff push. Although they have yet to face an AFC West divisional opponent, Las Vegas has shown enough to suggest a promising future lies ahead in 2021 and adding Sherman to the mix could be a game-changing move.