Raiders Rumors: A.J. Bouye Leaves Las Vegas Visit Without Free-Agent Contract

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 12, 2021

Denver Broncos cornerback A.J. Bouye (21) against the New Orleans Saints during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

Free-agent cornerback A.J. Bouye's visit with the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday did not end with the two sides coming to a deal, per Vic Tafur of The Athletic.

Tafur clarified that Bouye and Las Vegas could still agree to terms but that it hasn't happened yet.

Bouye has played eight seasons in the NFL with the Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars and Denver Broncos. The undrafted UCF product's best season occurred in 2017, when he posted six interceptions and 18 passes defended for the Jags in his only Pro Bowl campaign. The year before, Bouye finished third among all cornerbacks in Pro Football Focus' grading system.

The end of Bouye's Jacksonville tenure did not go as well. He allowed 65.2 percent of targets in his direction to be completed for 9.3 yards per target and 14.3 yards per completion in 2019, per Pro Football Reference. He also allowed a 101.5 passer rating when targeted.

The Jags traded Bouye to Denver in March 2020 for a fourth-round draft pick. He played seven games in Denver, amassing 23 tackles and six passes defended.

The Georgia native missed four games with a dislocated shoulder and another against the Atlanta Falcons because of the concussion protocol.

Bouye was also suspended six games for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs, per a league statement. He sat the final four contests of the 2020 season, and two games remain on that suspension. 

Mike Klis of 9News provided more context on the suspension.

Mike Klis @MikeKlis

Broncos CB AJ Bouye is facing suspension for performance enhancing supplement per source. Connected to Will Fuller/Bradley Roby situation from last week I’m told. #9sports

Denver released Bouye in February.

Bouye ranks No. 109 in PFF's list of the top 200 free agents this year and 22nd among cornerbacks. PFF.com wrote the following on the veteran:

"Bouye is a few years removed from his best seasons as he ranked as one of the league's best corners in 2016 and 2017 before posting a solid 75.7 grade in 2018. He's graded in the 50s in each of the last two seasons, making him a reclamation project at this point in his career. Bouye has man coverage skills on the outside, and he's a high upside play if a team can get him back to his previous level of play."

The Raiders are looking to improve a defense that finished 28th in DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average) last year, per Football Outsiders. Las Vegas also allowed the third-most points per game in the NFL.

Las Vegas has already starting to make changes in the secondary, with the team releasing defensive back Lamarcus Joyner.

The Raiders have some salary-cap room to work with as of now. Per Over the Cap, Las Vegas has just under $18 million in cap room (17th-most in the league) as of Thursday evening.

Ultimately, Bouye could be a low-risk, high-reward free agent if a team is able to land him on a short-term deal. If he's able to return anywhere close to his 2016 and 2017 Jags form, then his eventual team could be getting a steal. Perhaps that team is the Raiders, although that's not the case as of now.