The Las Vegas Raiders announced that they have officially signed unrestricted free-agent defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson.
Head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock were not shy about pointing out their shortcomings on defense during the 2020 campaign. Among the notable points of emphasis was undoubtedly going to be the defensive front once the offseason began following a disappointing showing.
The Raiders wasted no time agreeing to terms on a two-year deal with Yannick Ngakoue. They followed it up by beefing up their depth along the defensive line with the signing of Johnathan Hankins and Solomon Thomas.
Las Vegas had high hopes for last year’s free-agent addition in defensive tackle Maliek Collins. However, Collins was never able to establish himself as the anchor upfront that they had hoped for.
Fortunately, he will now have plenty of help in the form of Jefferson. The veteran registered 3.0 sacks, three tackles for loss, and six QB hits while playing 50 percent of Buffalo’s defensive snaps. The fact that he also appeared in all 16 games and started four is a positive sign of his durability.
Prior to his stint with the Bills, Jefferson spent four seasons with the Seattle Seahawks. His best year came in in 2019 when he posted career highs in tackles (26), sacks (3.5) and passes defended (3), along with one fumble recovery.
Jefferson will be reuniting with Ngakoue as part of this revamped defensive front for the Raiders. The pair played together during their college days at the University of Maryland and will now be starting a new chapter of their professional careers side by side.
Now that the Raiders have seemingly taken care of their defensive line, they can now shift gears toward the other notable voids on the roster. This includes filling out the rest of their offensive line and bringing in more veteran experience to the secondary.