Former Raider D.J. Hayden Eager to Play Potential Spoiler in Oakland's Final Home Game
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A lot of people have their eyes on the Oakland Raiders' final home game in Oakland this Sunday. But maybe nobody is looking forward to the game more than Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback D.J. Hayden.
The Jaguars are slated to clash with the Raiders at RingCentral Coliseum in Week 15, the last time Raiders fans will be able to embrace The Black Hole and its storied history in Oakland. But Hayden has a bit of history of his own he is looking forward to embrace -- facing the team that drafted him in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
"Oh yeah. I been have this game marked," Hayden said in the locker room Wednesday when asked if he has been looking forward to playing his former team.
"I am excited. I can’t wait until Sunday when we go out there to The Black Hole for their last little hoorah. I am ready."
Hayden, the No. 12 overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft, was with the Raiders from 2013-2016 before signing with the Detroit Lions in the 2017 offseason. Hayden played 45 games with the Raiders in four seasons, totaling three interceptions and three forced fumbles.
How does Hayden feel about his former team? When asked if he thinks the Raiders gave up on him, his answer was automatic.Yeah, they didn’t bring me back. So, know what I’m saying, gotta make them pay for it.
"Yeah, they didn’t bring me back. So, know what I’m saying, gotta make them pay for it," he said.
Hayden has been a bright spot for a bad Jacksonville defense in 2019, solidifying the nickel corner position and making plays in coverage, against the run, and blitzing from the secondary. Despite the 4-9 Jaguars having a poor season, Hayden said they still have things to play for. One of those things would be to potentially play spoiler vs. the Raiders in their final game in Oakland before the team relocates to Las Vegas.
"Wouldn’t it be nice, be sweet? Just to go in there and just whoop ass," Hayden said. "We have to go out there and do it. We can’t talk about it, we have to be about it."