Las Vegas drops close to $30 million investment on special teams

The Las Vegas Raiders are investing into their future. As the 2021 regular season is about to be over, the team is starting to hand out extensions to pieces they consider to be vital. Their first target? The special teams, specifically, their kicker and punter.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network first reported that Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson has agreed to a four-year extension with the team. Pelissero reported that the extension is worth around $18 million in total.

Shortly after, Mike Garafolo reported another extension by the Raiders, this time on their punter AJ Cole. The deal is believed to be another four-year extension, this time worth around $12 million in total.

After a rough tenure with the Minnesota Vikings, Daniel Carlson made a name for himself with the Raiders. He emerged as one of the more consistent pieces of the team, especially in the past two years. He’s hitting over 90 percent of his field goal and extra point attempts in 2020 and 2021, as he’s solidified his spot as one of the best kickers in the league.

On the other hand, AJ Cole has been a quietly solid punter for the Raiders. Drafted in 2019, he has bailed out the offense on their failed drives by punting efficiently. This season, he’s leading the league in yards punted, leading the franchise to lock him up for the foreseeable future.

This bit of stability has become a rare occurrence for the Raiders this season. They’ve been up and down the rollercoaster this season, as multiple off-court issues have destabilized the team. Jon Gruden’s leaked emails and subsequent firing was the first blow. Star wide receiver Henry Ruggs’ dismissal for a fatal DUI incident was the final straw.

Lions, Jared Goff

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