Raiders: Could Vegas bring in a former rival Pro Bowler?

Are the Las Vegas Raiders in a position to make a splash in free agency by picking up Charger’s defensive end Melvin Ingram?

NFL free agency is almost here. That means prayers are going out around the country from fans and players hoping their team makes the big move.

The Raiders are one of those teams and The Athletic’s Vic Tafur is one of those advocating for Las Vegas to go all out.

Yes, that’s an image of Raiders quarterback Derek Carr kneeling with Melvin Ingram of the Chargers.

Melvin Ingram could be an intriguing addition to the Raiders

Tafur isn’t the first person to link the Raiders to Ingram. Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report included Las Vegas in their “realistic landing spot predictions” for the defensive end. Brad Weiss of Just Blog Baby made a case for the Raiders improving their front by snatching him up. Even Gavino Borquez of Chargers Wire floated LA’s division rival as a suitor for the impending free agent.

A year ago, Ingram would have been a hot commodity on the free-agent market. Sure, he crossed the 30-year mark, but he was coming off his third straight Pro Bowl season in Los Angeles. However, he played in just seven games with zero sacks in 2020 while dealing with a nagging injury to his knee. It was a less-than-ideal way to finish the final year of his contract.

An ACL injury also kept him out for most of the 2013 season before spending seven weeks of the 2014 campaign on injured reserve.

Ingram appeared to put those injury woes behind him from 2015 to 2019, but his age and injury record will undoubtedly play a role in how much money he can command as a free agent.

The Chargers may not want to keep him around when they’ve got Joey Bosa dominating the edge. The Raiders, however, have every reason to take the gamble. Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley was Ingram’s coach during his Pro Bowl run. The team has young pass rushers like Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell, but Ingram could provide a veteran presence that’s sorely needed.

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