The Las Vegas Raiders linebacking room has secured a very nice insurance policy.
The team made it official Wednesday morning that they've acquired Denzel Perryman from the Carolina Panthers. The Raiders traded a 2022 sixth-round draft pick to the Panthers to get Perryman and 2022 seventh-round draft pick in return. The trade couldn't come at a better time for the Silver and Black, with Nick Kwiatkoski, Nicholas Morrow and Javin White dealing with injuries. Perryman is expected to come in and have an immediate impact in a defense he's very familiar with.
Here are a few things to know about the Raiders' newest acquisition.
Another Gus Bradley guy
Perryman has had his best days in the NFL under defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.
The two were together at the Los Angeles Chargers for four seasons, where Perryman thrived once Bradley was brought into the organization in 2017. In Perryman's four seasons under Bradley, he had over 200 tackles, four pass deflections and two interceptions. Perryman also had an 83.3 PFF Grade last season, the best of his career. The only thing that hampered Perryman in his time in LA was injuries, as he's missed at least two games a season every year of his NFL career.
Bradley was not extremely concerned about that though when he was asked about Perryman last week. He believes when Perryman is healthy, he's one of the best linebackers the league has to offer.
"Denzel, we have a lot of history with him just from our time back with the Chargers," Bradley said last Thursday. "He's a very good leader, very good pro. He brings some explosiveness to us. He's got very good instincts; he understands the package and what is asked of him. So, we just need to create some more depth there because of some of the situations we've been in.
"Healthy and come back in and able to play, he'll be a good addition. I think he'll fit in well with that group too."
Perryman is an A-L-P-H-A
With the plethora of injuries at the linebacker position, Head Coach Jon Gruden wanted to take a shot at a proven linebacker. Perryman was considered the right option by the organization, as his skillset and personality mirrors that of the injured Javin White. He can roam around the field, is good in coverage and is very expressive on the field. Gruden expects the sky is the limit for what Perryman can do with the Raiders.
"No. 1, he's a good player," said Gruden. "He's had some good plays out there as a middle linebacker in this defense, with this staff, against us. So, it would be nice to get a couple of these guys that know our staff that can play. He's also an alpha, A-L-P-H-A. I like those guys. He's a fiery, alpha presence, and I think we need that on our defense, especially in the middle of our defense. And with Nick Morrow, [Nick] Kwiatkoski, Javin White hurt, we need help, and to get a guy that can help us, of this stature, could be a real, real positive thing for us.
"But we have a lot to prove there too. He's got to stay healthy; he's got to come in here and put the Silver and Black on and play his best football for us."
Short but sweet
Standing at 5-foot-11, Perryman is the shortest linebacker on the team. Despite his height, he might pack the biggest punch out of any linebacker on the 53.
Even under six feet, he has 240 pounds on his muscular frame – making him the second heaviest linebacker on the team behind Kwiatkoski. He also has 349 total tackles throughout his career, which is the second most among all linebackers on the team, behind Pro Bowler Cory Littleton. Perryman has proven himself to be someone that plays well beyond his size
Something about South Florida breeds greatness on the football field.
The Raiders' newest addition was born in Miami, Florida, where he also attended the University of Miami. Perryman will have a few guys on the defense who will be able to remind him of home this season. Cornerback Damon Arnette grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Trayvon Mullen Jr. grew up in Coconut Creek, Florida, – both towns in a 35-40 mile radius of Miami in the heart of South Florida.
It will be nice to see what the three players can do together on the field, as each of them will be in line for a heavy amount of reps this season.
View photos of new linebacker Denzel Perryman in action. Over his career, Perryman has appeared in 69 games with 51 starts, recording 342 tackles, five sacks, three interceptions, six passes defensed, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.