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Nov 24, 2022

Friday, Dec 09, 2022 - 00:30:40

Raiders Urged to Cut Pricey Free Agent Bust

Raiders Urged to Cut Pricey Free Agent Bust

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Getty Bilal Nichols tackling Davis Mills.

The Las Vegas Raiders‘ pass rush has been wildly disappointing this season. The team is last in the NFL with just 13 sacks in 10 games. Chandler Jones deserves much of the blame as the team gave him $51 million to give them 0.5 sacks this season.

However, the Raiders aren’t getting any pass rush from their defensive tackles.

Bilal Nichols was handed a two-year contract worth $8.6 million in the offseason. The hope was that he’d provide the pass rush the team needed from the interior. That hasn’t been the case as he has no sacks on the season and is Pro Football Focus‘ 78th-ranked defensive tackle this season. Las Vegas needs to address their interior pass rush this offseason and that could require them to offload Nichols’ contract.

Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report believes the Raiders “must” cut the veteran defensive lineman:

In Las Vegas, he was supposed to play the same role flanked by Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones. Instead, he has no sacks and just eight total pressures on the season.

Those numbers don’t justify the $6.7 million cap figure he’s supposed to earn next season. Instead, the Raiders can cut the Delaware product and save $3 million against the cap.

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Not only will it create more cap space to reshape the defense, but it will also offer players such as Neil Farrell Jr. and Matthew Butler more reps.

Raiders Need an Interior Pass Rush

Over recent years, the Raiders have tried to find an interior pass rusher who could make an impact. Players like Maliek Collins failed to do much of anything. Nichols has proven he can rush the passer in the past but the Raiders can’t rely on him next season.

The team absolutely needs to add a pass rushing defensive tackle in the offseason. Georgia’s Jalen Carter is the prize of the draft. If the Raiders end up with a top-five pick, there’s a good chance he’ll be the player they target. There are also good options in free agency like Daron Payne and Fletcher Cox. Regardless of what happens, the team needs to add an instant impact defensive tackle.

The #Raiders interior DL had a lot of really good reps vs the Broncos.. On this play, Bilal Nichols does a great job not getting reached on this inside zone. Because he stops the RG from reaching to Perryman, tbe LB goes unblocked and blows the play up for a loss of 4 yards. pic.twitter.com/pO9AQb2UDR

— Sanjit T. (@Sanjit__T) November 22, 2022

Maxx Crosby Praises Defense for Broncos Win

The Raiders’ defense has struggled mightily this year but just had their best performance of the season against the Denver Broncos. They held the AFC West rival to just 16 points, which was a season-low allowed. Maxx Crosby led the way with 2.0 sacks and a blocked punt. He was impressed with what he saw from the defense against the Broncos.

“It’s the little things in football. The tiny little details between winning and losing,” Crosby said Sunday. “I feel like that’s something we’ve been missing, just our energy. Going out there and playing for each other. Playing with passion. It’s something like that that requires no talent that makes the difference between winning and losing. Everybody’s talented in this league. Everybody’s good. Everybody knows football, everybody knows how to play football. There’s just little details that separate teams.

“I feel like we just had juice today and we’ve got to keep doing that.”

The Raiders’ defense needs to build off Sunday’s win and try to turn the season around.

News Source: Heavy.com

Tags: football nfl breaking news 5 fast facts crime politics shopping the raiders’ defense raiders’ defense the raiders’ defensive tackle in the offseason the raiders can little details needs to add chandler jones on the season against the defense i feel like the raiders the broncos supposed this season maxx crosby next season

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Heat Affiliate Officially Land Former No. 8 Overall Pick

Getty Stanley Johnson is fouled by Melvin Frazier Jr. during a game between the LA Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Miami Heat may have some limitations at the moment where roster flexibility and deal-making are concerned, but the organization at large did just manage to bring a lottery-level talent into the fold.

Per a Thursday announcement from the club, Miami’s G League affiliate — the Sioux Falls Skyforce — has officially acquired former No. 8 overall pick Stanley Johnson via the available player pool. Johnson spent training camp with the Utah Jazz after the LA Lakers sent him to Salt Lake as part of the Patrick Beverley/Talen Horton-Tucker swap.

Alas, the Jazz opted to part ways with Johnson in the final days before the 2022-23 season tipped off. During his lone preseason appearance with Utah, he scored five points, grabbed five boards and added an assist and a block in 15 minutes of action.

To make room for the 26-year-old on their roster, the Skyforce waived big man Tyler Hagedorn, who had averaged 3.7 points and 3.4 boards this season across seven appearances for the Sioux Falls.

Johnson Showed Offensive Improvement in 2021-22 Play
Stanley Johnson Takes Over 4Q To Beat Jazz ????Stanley Johnson went off in the 4Q to help the Lakers seal the win vs. the Jazz at home. He finished with 15 points (7/9 FG) and 5 rebounds. Subscribe: youtube.com/user/BleacherReport?sub_confirmation=1 Follow on IG: instagram.com/f/bleacherreport Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/bleacherreport Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/bleacherreport #StanleyJohnson #Lakers #NBA2022-01-18T06:17:44Z

After Johnson netted All-Pac-12 and Freshman of the Year honors at Arizona back in 2015, the Detroit Pistons were enamored enough with his physical potential to select him in the mid-lottery. It’s not hard to see why, either; his 6-foot-7, 240-plus-pound frame (to go with a seven-foot wingspan) and overall athleticism are impressive.

Through the years, he has used his physical talents to build a reputation as a plus-defender (and the numbers have occasionally backed that notion up). During his 48-game run with the Lakers last season, though, his biggest contributions came on the opposite end of the court.

Johnson’s offensive rating of 114.0 ended up being the No. 1 mark teamwide among Los Angeles’ major minute-getters in ’21-22. That number marked a positive swing of 5.7 points per 100 possessions overall for the Lakers compared to when the baller sat. Many of Johnson’s individual shooting numbers jumped, too.

His effective field-goal percentage of 53.2 represented a new career-high, and it was bolstered by a new high on attempts within three feet of the hoop, where he connected at a 73.8% rate.

A Long & Winding Road

Johnson spent parts of four seasons with the Pistons before the team decided his offense probably wasn’t going to come around and ended up dealing him to the New Orleans Pelicans in 2019. That summer, he went on to sign with the Toronto Raptors, with whom he would spend the next two seasons.

In the fall of 2021, Johnson agreed to a training camp deal with the Chicago Bulls, and there was a thought that he could land a back-end roster spot. Instead, he was cut, eventually landing with the G League’s South Bay Lakers. He played well enough there to land a hardship deal with the Bulls, but never saw the court before that deal expired.

When the Lakers scooped him up in a similar fashion, however, he performed well enough to land a rest-of-year contract and a spot in the team’s starting five.

Over seven years and 419 career games, Johnson has averaged 6.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 0.9 steals in 20.1 minutes per contest. He’s a career 38.4% shooter overall and has converted 30.0% of his tries from deep.

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