There has been a lot of attention given to the additions the Las Vegas Raiders have made on the offensive side of the ball such as quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and wide receiver Jakobi Meyers. But no less important was the team agreeing to a two-year contract with former Philadelphia Eagles safety Marcus Epps worth $12 million.
While the Raiders’ offense showed flashes last season the defense, especially the secondary, was one of the worst in the NFL. The Raiders ranked 29th in passing yards allowed and 31st in interceptions, being unable to either slow teams down or create turnovers to get the offense good field position.
Bringing in Epps is a good step towards beginning to solve things and he is excited to join one of the NFL’s true premier organizations. “I mean, it’s just a storied franchise,” Epps said at his introductory press conference. I mean, legendary franchise, legendary organization, and that uniform is just a classic look.
“It’s one of those franchises that growing up as a kid, if I thought about as a kid, like, ‘Hey, you’re going to play for the Raiders,’ it’s like a surreal moment. So, definitely grateful to be here.”
There are only a handful of teams that truly have a national brand that is recognizable and a fanbase that stretches across the country. The Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers all fit the bill and the Raiders are right there in that same class, hence why Epps is excited to be a part of the franchise. Growing up in Southern California, where the Raiders fan base is extremely deep only amplifies that feeling.
At just 27 years old Epps has the opportunity to be both a short-term and long-term part of the building process with these Raiders. The safety is coming off the best year of his career ranking third on an Eagles defense considered by many to be the best in the league with 94 tackles to go along with six passes defensed, four tackles for loss, and a forced fumble.
The Raiders are looking to make the leap back into Super Bowl contention and reclaim their place as one of the top franchises in the entire NFL. The fanbase is ready for it, but in order for that to happen they must have players in uniform who are excited about that process. Epps looks to be a player built for that and with his skill and experience, could become one of the leaders of a rebuilt Raiders defense.