Raiders rumors: Las Vegas interested in big-name free agent CB

Panthers cornerback Stephon Gilmore. (Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Panthers cornerback Stephon Gilmore. (Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Las Vegas Raiders are pursuing coveted free agent cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who is coming off a Pro Bowl season with the Panthers.

The Raiders are looking for a way to strengthen their secondary with a veteran cornerback, according to recent reports.

Las Vegas is one of several teams showing “strong interest” in Stephon Gilmore, according to Mike Giardi of NFL Network.

That report backs up a tweet from Evan Massey of NFL Analysis Net from Monday morning, listing the Raiders and 49ers among the teams looking at bringing in Gilmore.

Stephon Gilmore is a target for the Raiders in free agency

The cornerback room hasn’t been a source of much pride for Las Vegas in recent months, though that’s not necessarily an on-the-field problem with Damon Arnette and Nate Hobbs dealing with off-field issues. The former was released over them.

Meanwhile, Casey Hayward and Brandon Facyson are free agents. While Hayward may be worth keeping around, the team needs reinforcements.

The Raiders were reportedly high on J.C. Jackson of the Patriots but he signed with the Chargers.

The pressure will be on to land someone like Gilmore as a clear upgrade at the position.

Gilmore may be set to turn 32 early in the 2022 season but he proved in 2021 that he’s still got plenty to give. He started the season recovering from quad surgery. After being traded from the Patriots to the Panthers, he played in eight games and started three while picking off two passes.

Only a couple of seasons removed from his Defensive Player of the Year nod, there aren’t many free-agent cornerbacks who can bring to a defense what Gilmore can. The hard part is beating out the other interested teams also seeking his services for 2022.

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