Four-year NFL veteran linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski has signed with the Oakland Raiders. Terms of the deal have not yet been announced. Kwiatkoski, a West Virginia product, spent the first four years of his career with the Chicago Bears.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 16, 2020
Nick Kwiatkoski, Oakland Raiders, Agree to Contract
Kwiatkoski spent the 2019 season as a rotational player with the Chicago Bears. Appearing in all 16 games and making eight starts, the Bethel Park native recorded 76 tackles, eight tackles-for-loss, one safety, three quarterback hits, three sacks, and one interception. According to Pro Football Focus, Kwiatkoski ended the season as the 15th-best linebacker in football in terms of overall grade (72.6). According to the advanced analytics website, Kwiatkoski spent 282 of his 512 snaps in coverage while compiling a 68.7 coverage grade. He excelled as a pass rusher, earning an 81.8 grade, albeit in only 39 snaps.
Nick Kwiatkoski initially entered the league as a fourth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Selected by the Chicago Bears, Kwiatkoski spent the majority of his rookie season coming off the bench. The rookie appeared in 14 games, making seven starts while recording one sack, 44 tackles, three tackles-for-loss, and one quarterback hit. Injuries limited the linebacker to 11 games in 2017, but he still managed to make an impact when on the field. Overall, the second-year linebacker recorded two sacks, three quarterback hits, 49 tackles, two tackles-for-loss, and two passes defended.
In 2018, Kwiatkoski played a supporting role on what was arguably the best defense in all of football. The linebacker only made one start, but still played in all 16 games while recording 15 tackles, one forced fumble, and one quarterback hit. Even though this was his least productive year on a personal level, the Bears still went 12-4 while winning the NFC North. Despite their impressive record, they lost to Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Wild Card Round after Cody Parkey missed what would have been the game-winning field goal.
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