Raiders add depth on defense with the signing of two free agents
It was announced today that the Raiders have signed free agents, Rufus Johnson and IK Enemkpali. With training camp underway, both Johnson and Enemkpail are behind the eight ball and are long shots to make the 53-man roster. It’s very likely that both were added simply as camp bodies, although Enemkpali could be intriguing as an edge rusher.
Rufus Johnson, is a 2013 sixth round draft pick of the New Orleans Saints. Johnson is listed as an outside linebacker/defensive end. In 2013, Johnson spent the entire season on the Saints practice squad. He was released by the Saints in August of 2014. Since being released by the Saints, Johnson has spent time on the practice squads for both the New England Patriots and Washington Redskins. Johnson has only appeared in one game during his career, registering one tackle.
IK Enemkpali, is a player who is known more for his right hook than his success on the football field. Those of you who are not familiar, In 2015, Enemkpali got into an altercation with his teammate and quarterback, Geno Smith over a $600 plane ticket. The altercation led to Enemkpali punching Smith in the face and fracturing his jaw. The Jets released Enemkpali and then was signed by the Buffalo Bills. In 2015, he appeared in 11 games with the Bills recording 13 tackles. Enemkpali suffered a torn ACL in the first preseason game of 2016 and missed the entire season.
The addition of two defensive ends is somewhat surprising as most of Raider Nation have been expecting a middle linebacker to be brought in. While meeting with members of the media after day four of training camp, coach Jack Del Rio reiterated that they haven’t necessarily attacked the position as well as others, but that’s not to say they still won’t. I fully expect the Raiders to sign a middle linebacker at some point in training camp or after cuts are made.
Perry Riley, Jr is still available as a free agent but at this point seems unlikely. The belief surrounding Riley, Jr is that he has a certain number in his mind and if a team can’t reach that number then he is fine not playing.
- August 3, 2020
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- Evan Groat