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Let me tell you all, the signing of Ron Bartell is one of my favorite signings. Ron Bartell is an underrated cornerback who can be really good when needed. Coming off a neck injury, Bartell was released by the Rams. Reggie McKenzie brought him in for a visit and soon gave him a one-year deal for $3 million.
Bartell was the featured cornerback for the Rams for seven years. He has played in 89 games, so he has a lot of experience. That experience will help out this youthful group big time.
He has great measureables as a cornerback, even if he is now 30 years old. He stands at a tall 6'1" and can run with the fastest receivers.
He is a physical corner who can get in a receiver's face and play press coverage if needed. The Raiders' old regime had a history of this type of defense, but with Dennis Allen, it remains to be seen what kind of defense is going to be run. Bartell is versatile enough to play zone, press man-coverage and off man-coverage.
Bartell generally plays very tight to the receiver. He is going to be a great fit with the Raiders.
Neck injuries are always something to be concerned about. However, he has been cleared and good to go. Plus, would Reggie McKenzie really give a contract to a guy who isn't ready to go?
Another thing about Bartell is that he isn't necessarily a ball-hawk. He has only had eight career interceptions and zero in the past three seasons, two excluding his injury season. He is great at defending the ball, however, with 54 career deflections.