The Las Vegas Raiders made it a point to address the secondary in the 2021 NFL Draft, as they selected three safeties and one cornerback with four of their seven picks. Jon Gruden and Co. aren't done adding to the defense just yet, as Josina Anderson reported on Tuesday that the Raiders had signed former Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward to a one-year deal worth up to $4 million.
According to Anderson, Hayward met with the Raiders coaching staff on Tuesday and struck a deal by the afternoon. He reunites with defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and defensive backs coach Ron Milus, as both were coaches with the Chargers. Both also helped Hayward elevate his status to an All-Pro, Pro Bowl cornerback.
Hayward was released in March after being identified as a cap casualty. The 31-year-old recorded 41 combined tackles, eight passes defensed and one interception in 14 games played. It was the first time since his second season back in 2013 where he did not play in all 16 games. Hayward spent the first four years of his career with the Green Bay Packers, who selected him in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft, but signed with the Chargers as a free agent in 2016. Chargers GM Tom Telesco even called the Hayward signing "one of the best" the franchise has ever made.
In 129 career games played, Hayward has recorded 385 combined tackles, 100 passes defensed and 23 interceptions. He earned Pro Bowl nods in 2016 and 2017 as well as two second-team All-Pro selections. The Raiders' top cornerbacks are Trayvon Mullen and Damon Arnette, and it looks like Hayward will have the opportunity to come in and play a big role immediately.