Broncos release CB AJ Bouye: Could he make sense for Raiders?

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Levi Damien
·2 min read
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The two starting cornerbacks for the Raiders last season were both taken in the top 40 picks of the past two drafts. Mullen — who was the 40th pick in the 2019 draft — has proven to be the team’s best defensive back. While Damon Arnette — who was their pick at No. 19 last year — had a rough rookie season.

The question becomes mainly if the Raiders will ride with their two high pick corners in the hopes that Arnette will come around or go a different direction.

There are two options should they not just hand the job back to Arnette. One is to bring in an unquestioned starter, demoting Arnette to depth. The other is to bring in competition and let Arnette try and actually win the job.

The only one of those options that wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense is to stand pat with Arnette in the hopes that he can prove he is the answer. That’s risky. And there will be plenty of talk of making a big investment in one of the big-time starting cornerback talents who could be headed for the free agency like Patrick Peterson or Richard Sherman.

The less glamorous option would be to bring in a middling talent to compete with Arnette for the starting job.

A potentially ideal cornerback to be that competition would be AJ Bouye who was just released by the Broncos.

Bouye was basically a cap casualty, which is code-speak for a player who is talented, but not deemed worth his large-cap figure. Which for Bouye was to be $13.2 million this season. And with no dead money, if released, the Broncos made the obvious choice.

A year ago, the Broncos made a trade to acquire Bouye from the Jaguars. The one-time Pro Bowler made $10.3 million last season while appearing in just seven games. He had six pass breakups and no interceptions in those seven games; all starts.

The seven-year NFL veteran is still just 29 years old and could be an affordable option for the Raiders. Mostly likely, he will sign to a short-term deal, probably heavy on incentives. And, of course, because he was released, any team that would like to sign him could do so right now, while they would have to wait until March 17 to sign pending free agents.

For the Raiders, they could save some $11 million on their cap this season by releasing nickel cornerback Lamarcus Joyner.