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Raiders agree to 1-year deal with Darius Phillips

March 15, 2022 GMT

The Las Vegas Raiders have made their first move of the free agency period, agreeing to a one-year contract with cornerback and returner Darius Phillips.

Phillips announced the deal on Twitter on Tuesday. He can’t sign the contract until the start of the league year on Wednesday.

ESPN first reported the deal and said Phillips will be paid $2.25 million this season.

New coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler took over the team this offseason with hopes of building on a 10-7 season in 2021 that gave the Raiders their second playoff berth in the past 19 seasons.

Phillips was originally a fifth-round pick out of Western Michigan by Cincinnati in 2018. He spent the past four seasons with the Bengals, playing 47 games and making 10 starts. He went on injured reserve in each of the past three seasons.

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Phillips played only 99 snaps on defense last season, with eight tackles and two passes defensed. He went on injured reserve with a left shoulder injury after losing two fumbles on punts in an overtime loss to San Francisco in Week 14 and missed the Bengals’ playoff run.

Phillips started eight games at cornerback for Cincinnati in 2020 when he had 12 passes defensed and an interception. He had four interceptions in a reserve role in 2019.

Phillips adds depth to the secondary with Casey Hayward and Brandon Facyson set to hit the open market on Wednesday. Nate Hobbs played well in the slot as a rookie last season, while starter Trayvon Mullen missed 12 games with injuries last season.

Las Vegas had previously signed cornerback Cre’von LeBlanc this offseason, along with defensive tackle Andrew Billings and offensive lineman Jordan Meredith.

The Raiders also tendered a right of refusal contract worth $2.43 million to restricted free agent safety Dallin Leavitt.

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