The Raiders have added respected veteran Corey Liuget to their defensive front. The team announced his signing on Sunday morning, shortly after he started his first practice with the Silver and Black.
Liuget spent the spring and summer as a free agent after the L.A. Chargers declined an option in his contract. He visited several teams in recent months, but ended up as a Raider.
“We’re really excited about that,” Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said. “We think he’s an excellent football player. We’re thrilled to have him.”
Liuget brings experience to the group. The 2011 first-round pick was a stalwart along the Chargers defensive line, playing defensive end in their 3-4 defense before moving inside when the team switched to a 4-3 alignment. Liuget can play several techniques, but will bring juice from the interior spots.
“We’re a one-gap 4-3 defense, and last year we were struggling to put the pieces together after they ran a 3-4 for a few year,” Gruden said. “Liuget is a legitimate three technique. He can be a penetrator as a nose tackle and can be heavy on the center in sub packages in three-down alignments. He’s smart. He has some sacks. He gives us another veteran player with inside pass rush ability. He bats down passes and plays with a motor. We’re thrilled to have him. We’re going to try to get him in great shape and ready as soon as possible.”
He’ll be on the 53-man roster after signing this late in the season, so expect some shuffling along the defensive front as we head toward this weekend’s roster cuts as the Raiders try to find a proper mix inside and off the edge.
Liuget spent eight seasons with the Chargers, but fell on hard times last year. He was suspended four games for violating the league’s PED policy — he sued his trainer over the positive test — and suffered a torn quadriceps that required surgical repair.
Liuget visited several teams in recent months, but didn’t choose a team until now.
He has 179 tackles, 27 sacks, 18 batted passes and six forced fumbles in his NFL career.
The Raiders also signed linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams on Sunday. The South Carolina product was an undrafted free agent.
Long snapper Andrew DePaola was released in a corresponding move, meaning Trent Sieg will be the long snapper. He performed well last season, taking over after DePaola tore his ACL last summer.