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Casey Hayward, Raiders Agree to 1-Year, $4M Contract After Chargers, Packers Stints

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 5, 2021

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Free-agent cornerback Casey Hayward has agreed to a one-year deal with the Las Vegas Raiders worth up to $4 million, ESPN's Josina Anderson reported Tuesday.

Hayward made 14 appearances for the Los Angeles Chargers in 2020, finishing with 41 tackles, eight pass breakups and one interception.    

The 31-year-old reached back-to-back Pro Bowls in 2016 and 2017 and led the NFL with seven interceptions in 2016. In general, he had been excellent in pass coverage entering 2020.

That changed last year even though the Chargers finished ninth in passing yards allowed (223.6 per game).

Pro Football Focus ranked Hayward as the No. 125 free agent, noting his grade had slipped to 59.5 and he had allowed five touchdowns.

While he may not be on the right side of the aging curve, the 5'11", 192-pounder might be able to put together at least one more productive season. Anderson noted he has a rapport with Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and defensive backs coach Ron Milus, who both coached him on the Chargers.

Hayward will be tasked with helping turn around a defense that surrendered 263.3 yards per game through the air (26th) and allowed an opponent passer rating of 95.3 (21st) in 2020.

Las Vegas wasn't too aggressive in free agency, adding corner Rasul Douglas and safety Karl Joseph and re-signing corner Nevin Lawson on one-year deals. The team then selected three safeties (Trevon Moehrig, Divine Deablo and Tyree Gillespie) in the first four rounds of the draft.

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