Cory Littleton would keep playing special teams if he could

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The Raiders are probably paying Cory Littleton too much money to let him run down kicks.

But if they let him play special teams, he clearly wouldn’t shy away from it.

The former Rams linebacker probably ought to be done in the kicking game considering the three-year, $36 million deal he signed with the Raiders this spring, but it’s in his personality to want to.

“I mean it was my first excitement coming into this league. It was my main role,” Littleton said, via Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “It’s something that, honestly, most people don’t like doing but it grew on me, so I can’t stop doing it.”

When you come into the league as an undrafted rookie, that’s how you have to keep a job. But he excelled on special teams, earning Pro Bowl honors in 2018. But he grew as a defensive player, and the Raiders made a quick move to add him with an eye toward revamping their linebacker group.

Last year, he led the Rams in tackles, had four sacks, and three interceptions. He also played 105 special teams snaps. Raiders General Manager Mike Mayock clearly likes to add players with strong character, and that kind of willingness is part of it. But he also said Littleton “covers as well as anybody in the league.”

Either way, he’s glad to be valued, and in Las Vegas.

“To me, they’ve made a lot of great strides in the right direction, especially since Jon Gruden got there,” Littleton said. “And just to be a part of that, I believe we have a chance to do something special.”

Especially if that means special teams.