Grade for Raiders signing OL Cody Whitehair in NFL free agency

grade for raiders signing ol cody whitehair in nfl free agency

Grade for Raiders signing OL Cody Whitehair in NFL free agency

The Las Vegas Raiders made a much-needed addition to their offensive line room recently when the team inked former Chicago Bear interior lineman, Cody Whitehair.

A former Pro Bowler (2018), the 31-year-old has spent all eight years of his career with the Bears after being drafted in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Whitehair also played under current Raiders offensive coordinator Luke Getsy when he held the same position in Chicago, so Whitehair is already familiar with the system.

After beginning his career as a starting center, Whitehair shifted over to left guard, where he’s predominantly played for each of the last three seasons. Unfortunately, the Kansas State product has seen a decline in his play in recent years, with injuries playing a part. That led to the Bears releasing him in February.

In 2023, Whitehair (17 games, 11 starts) played 666 snaps at left guard, 87 at center and 34 at right guard. In his 454 pass-block snaps, Whitehair surrendered three sacks and 22 pressures. He also posted a PFF run-blocking grade of 42.4.

While Whitehair is not a lock to start, he does give Las Vegas a more experienced option for one of the starting guard spots than anyone the team currently has on its roster. Adding to that, he also provides a solid backup option at center just in case Andre James gets hurt.

If he does indeed start, it remains to be seen which side he’ll play on. The vast majority of his career guard snaps have come on the left side, but he does have 208 career snaps at right guard. If the Raiders don’t want to upset the apple cart with Dylan Parham, who played left guard last season, it’s conceivable that Whitehair could start on the right side.

Whatever the case may be, Whitehair is a plus addition to a Raiders offense that needed another option for one of their starting guard spots, and he came very cheap (one year, max $3 million). At worst, he’s a strong backup at multiple positions upfront.

Grade: B

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