On Monday, the NFL legal tampering period started, where players can negotiate with NFL teams and come to verbal agreements. Nick Kwiatkoski and quarterback Marcus Mariota agreed to sign with the Las Vegas Raiders. Day 2 of the tampering period, the Raiders were busy, getting verbal agreements with five players.
Cory Littleton Linebacker
Cory Littleton was high on the Raiders wish list, and they got their man. Littleton is one of the NFL best all-around linebackers, he is a sideline to sideline linebacker, who can rush the passer and play in pass coverage. Last season, Littleton had 134 tackles, and his 3.6 missed tackle percentage was the best among linebackers with 60 tackles or more. Linebacker was a position the Raiders needed to get better at, and they did well in improving at that position.
Jason Witten Tight End
Las Vegas also came to an agreement with former Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten. Witten came out of retirement last season and caught 63 paases for 529 yards. He joins a crowded Raiders tight end room with Darren Waller, Foster Moreau, and Derek Carrier. Waller and Moreau are coming off knee injuries. This move was a bit of a head-scratcher, but it seems like the Raiders are looking for veteran leadership in the locker room.
Maliek Collins Defensive Tackle
The Raiders added Maliek Collins, who is also from the Cowboys and has history with Raiders defensive line coach Rod Marinelli. Collins is a young player at the age of 25; he had four sacks and 21 quarterback pressures last season with Dallas. Collins will add depth to the Raiders defensive front and will generate a pass rush up the middle something the Raiders lacked last season.
Carl Nassib Edge
Sticking with defensive line depth, the Raiders agreed to sign defensive end Carl Nassib. Last season Nassib played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; in the previous two seasons, he has accumulated 12.5 sacks. Nassib adds more edge-rushing depth to the Raiders defensive line.
Jeff Heath Safety
Lastly, Las Vegas came to an agreement with another former cowboy safety Jeff Heath. Heath adds depth to the safety position; he can play both strong and free safety. Heath has started 44 games in the last four seasons.
All the players the Raiders agreed to sign are young except for Jason Witten. The Raiders are signing smart deals and still have roughly $18 million left to continue to make upgrades.