Breaking: Raiders Set To Upgrade Key Position by Signing Free Agent 4-Time All-Pro

Breaking: Raiders Set To Upgrade Key Position by Signing Free Agent 4-Time All-Pro

The Las Vegas Raiders had a solid safety duo in Tre’von Moehrig and Marcus Epps last season. Both played all 17 games last season but Epps didn’t catch a single interception last season.

He is more of a run stopper than a coverage specialist, and the Raiders may be able to upgrade at one of their safety positions. Justin Simmons, a former Denver Broncos safety and four-time All-Pro, is currently a free agent looking for a new team.

He has 30 career interceptions and might be the ballhawk the Raiders need at safety. Epps would still play a role and add value in the run game, but Simmons would offer greater potential in coverage. He was an All-Pro last season and continues to play at a high level.

Simmons is 30 so he may not have many more years left of being one of the top safeties in the NFL but there’s no reason to believe he’s declined much in the last several months since the season ended. It remains to be seen what his asking price could be but it can’t be too high considering how late in free agency it is. If the Raiders can get Simmons at a discount, it’d be worth it to upgrade the safety position.

Marcus Epps Is a Favorite of the Coaching Staff

One reason why the Raiders wouldn’t consider signing Simmons is due to Epps’ status with the team. He’s a team captain and the coaching staff likes him a lot. Safeties coach Gerald Alexander recently spoke very highly of Epps.

“He plays a clean game, and what I mean by that is he does all the little things, right?”Alexander stated during a June 4 press conference. “First and foremost, having a really strong knowledge of what his duty is, where he’s supposed to be, and how to maneuver out there on the field, getting his alignment and his teammates in position to perform the things that they need to do. That’s what it boils down to: being a major communicator.”

Epps may not be a turnover machine, but he avoids mistakes and has been an excellent leader for a young secondary.

Las Vegas Raiders Have Intriguing Young Safeties

Another reason a Simmons signing is improbable is that the Raiders have added some young players in recent years.Chris Smith II, a fifth-round pick last year, received limited playing time.Isaiah Pola-Mao, who made his first career interception last season, has the potential to play a more prominent role. Trey Taylor, a rookie seventh-round pick, could be one of the draft’s best values.

The Raiders’ safety room is very interesting and could be deep if some of these young players continue to improve. Simmons is a proven star and one of the best defensive backs in the NFL but he may be more inclined to go to a team that needs his services more. If there are any issues in practice or any injuries, Simmons should definitely be on the Raiders’ radar.

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