Hayward, 31, a second-round pick of the Green Bay Packers in 2012, joins cornerbacks Trayvon Mullen (drafted in the second round in 2019), Damon Arnette (first round in 2020), Amik Robertson (fourth round in 2020) and Nate Hobbs (fifth round in 2021), as well as safeties Johnathan Abram (first round in 2019), Trevon Moehrig (second round in 2021) and Tyree Gillespie (fourth round in 2021).
The Raiders on Wednesday moved on from one of their veterans in the secondary, releasing safety Jeff Heath, who appeared in 13 games with five starts last season and had three interceptions after signing with the team as a free agent. The move created $3.15 million in salary cap space.
The move also reunites Hayward, who was released by the Los Angeles Chargers in March, with Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, who was his defensive coordinator in Los Angeles the past four seasons. The Raiders hired Bradley as their defensive coordinator in January.
The signing could mean the Raiders will not move on another veteran free-agent cornerback in Richard Sherman, who has also been linked to Las Vegas.
Hayward, 31, appeared in 14 games last season, making 13 starts. He finished with an interception and eight passes defended. He was inactive for the Nov. 29 game at Buffalo, snapping a streak of 107 consecutive games played.
During his five seasons with the Chargers, Hayward had 66 passes defensed, which led the AFC during that span. He led the NFL with seven interceptions in 2016 and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2016 and 2017.
He has 23 career interceptions, though only three in his past three seasons combined.
Hayward dealt with back, groin and hamstring injuries in 2020, and while he led the NFL with 42 pass breakups over the 2016 and 2017 seasons, he allowed 8.6 yards per target in 2020, the worst mark of his career.
Arnette, meanwhile, allowed 11.8 yards per target, and Mullen gave up 7.7 yards per target. Hayward could potentially start on the outside in place of Arnette.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.