The Raiders have signed veteran cornerback Lito Sheppard. His addition brings a much needed veteran presence in the Raiders’ secondary. Sheppard instantly becomes the favorite to land the team’s third cornerback job — a spot manned by rookie Demarcus Van Dyke up to this point.
The Raiders lost All Pro corner Nnamdi Asomugha in free agency, and without him, there has been no reliable depth to the secondary. Veterans Chris Johnson and Stanford Routt are the starters but behind them are two second year corners in fifth round pick Walter McFadden and seventh rounder Jeremy Ware, along with rookies Van Dyke and Chimdi Chekwa.
McFadden and Ware have not played well enough to earn a roster spot, let alone be the “next man up” should Routt or Johnson get injured. In fact, Chris Johnson has been injured much of camp and in his absence, the two have looked terrible. McFadden especially was burnt several times in the team’s preseason opener against the Arizona Cardinals.
The 31 year old Sheppard had a great early career with the Eagles, making two Pro Bowls, but he was released by the team last season and hasn’t been the player he once was. He played last season with the Vikings, starting two games and appearing in 13.
Sheppard will be in Raider camp today for the final training camp practice, starting at 11am.