Over the past two seasons, the second level of the Las Vegas Raiders’ defense has been led by linebacker Denzel Perryman. In 2021 Perryman had a career year with the Raiders totaling 154 tackles and being named to his first Pro Bowl.
Last season was a little down as he appeared in just 12 games but still finished third on the team with 83 tackles along with a pair of interceptions. But now the Raiders will have to figure out how they’re going to replace him.
According to Ian Rapaport of NFL Network, Perryman has agreed to a one-year deal with the Houston Texans under their new head coach DeMeco Ryans:
The #Texans add again, this time signing former #Raiders LB Denzel Perryman, sources say. The disruptive Pro Bowler had 154 tackles in 2021 and 14 tackles for loss last year. Now gets a 1-year deal in Houston for DeMeco Ryans.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 22, 2023
This is a tough loss for a Raiders defense that already had its struggles last season. Perryman was a reliable middle linebacker and one of the few consistent options for the defense as a whole. Though this does open up an opportunity for a bigger role with Divine Deablo.
A third-round pick in 2021, Deablo was off to an excellent start last year with 74 tackles in the first eight games of the season. Unfortunately, he would be placed on injured reserve and miss the remainder of the season, but those 74 tackles still ranked fourth on the team and perhaps his growth is why the Raiders feel comfortable letting Perryman go.
After a season in which the defense was a sore spot, it stands to reason that some changes would be made and players will be let go. Perryman had been excellent for the Raiders, but he has made his decision to move on and the Raiders will hopefully have the pieces in place to be improved overall on that side of the ball.
New quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo looking to ‘earn’ a leadership role on Raiders
As far as the offensive side goes, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is set to lead things now and he knows this is a challenge ahead of him and the Raiders. As the quarterback, he wants to be the leader but knows that isn’t guaranteed just because of the position he plays.
“I’m trying to bring an energy, trying to get everyone on the same page, get everyone rolling in the same direction,” Garoppolo said. “And like I said before, I’m trying to earn it. Just because I’m the quarterback, I’m not the leader because of that. I want to be the leader because guys respect me and believe in me, and I think that starts with hard work. And so, I’ll try to do that as much as I can and take from there.”