‘Life of the Party’ Denzel Perryman all the business on the field for Raiders – Las Vegas Raiders Blog

‘Life of the Party’ Denzel Perryman all the business on the field for Raiders – Las Vegas Raiders Blog

HENDERSON, Nev. – As he so often diagnoses games on the field as a middle linebacker, Denzel Perryman knew exactly what was to be asked of him as he stood at the lectern.

However, that didn’t mean the Pro Bowler felt comfortable being asked for an NFL Network report that he was looking for a contract extension from the Las Vegas Raiders early in training camp.

“I knew it,” Perryman said quietly as he slowly shook his head. “I knew it was coming. I knew it was coming.”

The room full of reporters laughed with an amused Perryman.

“To answer that question,” he continued, “my agent Ron Butler is handling it. I just want to play football. That’s it. I’ve been waiting [that question]. That’s why I sweat. That is what I have been waiting for.”

Then Perryman grabbed a towel with his right hand and slowly wiped his face, which was as shiny as it was grinning.


THE ROBBERS, BELOW New management, with general manager Dave Ziegler and coach Josh McDaniels, who joined from the New England Patriots in January, has awarded contract extensions to defensive end Maxx Crosby, quarterback Derek Carr and slot receiver Hunter Renfrow. Las Vegas also acquired All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams and gave him a new contract, while Darren Waller appears to be on deck on deck for a new deal with Las Vegas with more than $26.4 million in salary caps.

So, yes, after the best season of his seven-year career and entering the final year of his contract, who can blame Perryman for wanting a little security?

Consider: Perryman’s 154 tackles last season were the most by a Raiders player since 2000, the sixth-most in the NFL in 2021, and he was the first Raiders inside linebacker to make the All-Star since Matt Millen. game of the league…in 1988.

Taking on a playmaker at the second level of defense was a godsend for the new coaching staff.

“Denzel, he brings a lot of juice every day and when he comes in you can tell he’s got this booming voice and everyone knows when he speaks it’s usually something important,” McDaniels said. “He’s very confident. He keeps it light-hearted, but he’s serious about the game of football. And I don’t know many people who work like him.

“He’s trying to work hard to get better at things that he might not have done as much of, which I love about him… pushes his teammates, holds them accountable. Leads the same path every day. Very consistent presence in our building. Not pacing [like] a roller coaster. If there is any problem, rest assured Denzel will bring it to my attention as soon as possible. And if you go to Denzel with something we need from the team, he’ll take care of it. He has the respect of the entire dressing room. I really enjoy being with him every day.”

Perryman came to Las Vegas via a strange route. After spending his first six seasons with the Chargers, he signed a two-year, $6 million contract as a free agent with the Carolina Panthers in spring 2021.

But after an odd offseason and vowing not to take the COVID-19 vaccine, he was traded to the Raiders at the end of training camp along with a 2022 seventh-round draft pick in exchange for a 2022 sixth-round pick.

Perryman fought off the shot until, as he said at the time, he could no longer feel like an outcast in the dressing room.

“I feel like I’m still trying to get my feet wet here,” Perryman said of Las Vegas in general. “I was traded here. It was something unexpected, but it was a blessing in disguise for me. I mean, I had my best season last year and I’ll try to build on that. But just being here, I’m not quite locked in yet. As I said, I’m still trying to get my feet wet.

Injuries were a problem for Perryman – he had never started more than 11 games in a season prior to last year. During his career, he has played in 84 out of a possible 113 regular-season games.

But after 15 starting games plus last season’s playoff loss to the Cincinnati Bengals — missing two while on the COVID list — Perryman looks like a building block for new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. Perryman and sophomore Divine Deablo are the Raiders’ only returning linebackers.

“You can’t lead if you don’t contribute and consistently contribute,” Graham said. “And it comes in the same way every day – great energy, willingness to learn, responsibility. If he messes up, he is willing to take the blame and he holds others accountable. And because he’s in that position as a linebacker, he does a good job of communicating between the players and the coaches. And that’s important from this position.”


OB 110 Degree or a monsoon soaks the field, Perryman is a constant at camp, rocking his hats with social change messages and reminding everyone within earshot to “drink.”

“He’s the heart of our defense,” said edge rusher Chandler Jones. “I reached out to him when I first got here and we just get along like that … I’m sure a fan.”

Security Duron Harmon agreed.

“He’s the life of the party,” Harmon said. “But then when he goes onto the field, it’s like a switch just flips.”

In fact, Perryman had 10 games last season with at least 10 tackles, including 14 in a Week 3 overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins

A tackle machine, albeit with an injury history, coming off a career season that looks like a cornerstone despite turning 30 in December and entering the final year of his contract?

Yes, there’s a certain “energy” around Perryman at the center of the Raiders’ retooled defense.

“I mean, I’m just looking forward to the season in general,” Perryman said. “It’s all new – new coaches, new staff, new faces, a new plan and a new year. So in terms of energy, I mean I’m always smiling and I have a lot of energy.”

It’s almost like he saw this coming.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.