It is no secret that the Las Vegas Raiders plan to put an emphasis on the defensive side of the ball this offseason.
The Raiders have a number of notable voids to fill on defense following their abysmal outing in the 2020 campaign that led to the firing of coordinator Paul Guenther and hiring of Gus Bradly as his replacement. They are now in the midst of clearing up some much-needed cap space in order to make a splash in free agency and the 2021 NFL Draft.
Head coach Jon Gruden has acknowledged that the secondary could use some work following a disappointing showing last season. It appears they have not wasted any time exploring their options.
According to Mike Klis of 9News, the Raiders recently hosted free agent cornerback A. J. Bouye for a visit:
Vet CB A.J. Bouye is in Vegas today visiting with the Raiders, per source. #9sports
— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) March 8, 2021
There is no question that the prospect of adding Bouye would provide a major boost to this struggling defense. Fortunately, his visit indicates that there is a strong sense of mutual interest in potentially getting a deal done.
Although free agency does not officially begin until two days before the start of the new league year on March 17, Bouye is getting a head start on testing the market after being released by the Denver Broncos back in February. He already has a connection in Las Vegas after playing for Bradley during their time with the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2017-2019.
This sense of familiarity could make for a seamless transition to the Raiders and their new approach on defense. Not to mention, Bouye’s status as a bonafide starting cornerback in this league can pay some major dividends for Trayvon Mullen and Damon Arnette.
Cornerbacks Nevin Lawson and Daryl Worley are set to hit free agency, while Las Vegas is expected to part ways with nickelback Lamarcus Joyner in order to clear cap space. It will be interesting to see if they could alleviate this potential turnover by shoring up some quality depth in the form of Bouye.