Raiders Should Still Consider Adding Veteran Option at LB

The Las Vegas Raiders are nearly done making the most reasonable changes to their roster. With time still remaining in the offseason, the Raiders should consider adding a veteran linebacker.Nov 19, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) runs with

The Las Vegas Raiders found arguably one of the best linebackers in the AFC in free agency last offseason when they signed linebacker Robert Spillane.

When the veteran linebacker arrived, the Raiders needed a dependable linebacker, and Spillane needed a legitimate opportunity to prove he was an every-down linebacker. It turned out to be a perfect match, as Spillane played nearly all of the Raiders’ defensive snaps this season and finished the season with the tenth-most tackles in the league.

Fellow linebacker Divine Deablo entered last season aiming to prove he could fully transition from defensive back to linebacker in the league and stay healthy. After missing most of the 2022-23 season, Deablo missed two games last season and proved to be a solid combination with Spillane and Luke Masterson.

However, the two games Deablo missed proved his unique skill set and how much even the Raiders’ opponents understand it. While the Raiders did well during Deablo’s time away, opposing teams routinely attacked where Deablo would have been on the field. While linebacker Amari Burney and others played well in Deablo’s absence, it was evident how important he is to the defense and how much depth the Raiders lack behind Spillane and Deablo.

Raiders general manager Tom Telesco used a draft pick on linebacker Tommy Eichenberg from Ohio State, who plays similar to Spillane and would likely be the one who replaces Spillane, even though Spillane rarely comes off the field. Much like Telesco and the Raiders used a draft pick to address the depth behind Spillane, they should address their depth at linebacker behind Deablo.

So far this offseason, Telesco has addressed nearly all of the Raiders’ most significant roster issues but still has time to analyze the roster more and make necessary adjustments to be as prepared as possible heading into next season. While it would be difficult to find a linebacker with skills similar to Deablo’s, a former defensive back, the Raiders could still benefit from an additional veteran linebacker. The Raiders don’t have many holes on their roster, but they are one Spillane or Deablo injury away from the unit becoming a weakness.

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