The Las Vegas Raiders have a number of notable voids to fill on defense if they hope to take that next step in the 2021 NFL season.
While some moves along the defensive line are expected, the secondary may also be a point of emphasis following a disappointing 2020 campaign from this group. Head coach Jon Gruden seemingly got a head start on the recruiting process by pitching San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman.
Fortunately, the Raiders have since gone through more legal means by hosting free agent cornerback A.J. Bouye for a visit. It seems there has not been any change to his status following his departure.
According to Vic Tafur of TheAthletic.com, Bouye left Las Vegas without a deal in place:
CB A.J. Bouye has left Las Vegas. Doesn't mean he can't come back, but no deal for first FA visitor. #Raiders
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) March 11, 2021
Bouye was traded to the Denver Broncos last offseason as part of the fire sale that went down with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He finished the 2020 campaign with 23 tackles and six passes defended after playing in just seven games while dealing with a shoulder injury and a suspension for violating the performance-enhancing drug policy.
The Broncos cut Bouye at the start of the offseason, and he still has two games left on his suspension. Regardless, his veteran experience should help pay some major dividends for the development of cornerbacks Trayvon Mullen and Damon Arnette.
Bouye’s departure without a deal does not mean that there is no longer a sense of mutual interest. It is safe to say that he may be simply planning to do his due diligence on the market before the new year begins on March 17.
The Raiders could very well have some competition from other teams if they hope to land Bouye’s services for the upcoming season. It will be interesting to whether or not they can bring him in on a team-friendly deal as they look to shore up some more cap space.