Marshall Faulk asks: Let's get professional: Midway through the season, it's time to assess and adjust. To be GMC Professional Grade, you must be calculated in your approach. What adjustments are needed to make sure you are fighting for a playoff spot?
Yes, yes, "Playoffs? Playoffs?!?" There is really no chance the Raiders will be fighting for a playoff spot this season. So, what we have to start thinking about at this point is how the Raiders can set themselves up to compete for a playoff spot next season or after that.
Lately the Raiders have made it clear that the draft is how they plan to add talent. That takes a while and it's far from an exact science. They tried adding a bunch of players as free agents but that hasn't worked out either. One way to ensure you get a proven talent is to trade for them.
The trade deadline is looming. Next Tuesday to be exact. It's a time when teams either want to add talent or shed talent in favor of draft picks. The rumors fly and the names that get bandied about can be pretty intriguing at times. And the Raiders name has been bandied about along with it as a team desperately seeking to upgrade their roster.
Here are a few names that have been mentioned as trade bait with the Raiders as a possible taker.
The Bucs are reportedly getting a lot of interest in the veteran receiver as the deadline approaches. The Raiders have scouring the waiver wire already this season, signing Vincent Brown and Kenbrell Thompkins to the team.
Why it makes sense: Overall their receiving corps is lacking in top talent and Jackson has been a top talent in this league.
Why it doesn't make sense: Jackson is 31 years old. Adding over 30 players hasn't worked for the Raiders even as free agents. They need to add long term solutions.
Yet another season has come and gone with David Ausberry not able to live up to his potential. He was injured all through training camp and was never able to regain his starting job even upon his return early in the season. Gresham is a former top pick and two-time Pro Bowler who has in the past put up big numbers for the Bengals.
Why it makes sense: He's still just 26 years old and could solidify the tight end position for the Raiders.
Why it doesn't make sense: He is a terrible run blocker. The Raiders already have a pass catching TE in Mychal Rivera who put up similar numbers to Gresham last season. The Raiders need a complete tight end.
I have seen his name pop up here and there because he wants out of Detroit and the Lions don't want to be left empty handed. The troubled defensive tackle has been rumored to be on his way out of Detroit for some time. The Raiders defensive line has been one of the worst in football this season. They can't stop the run and they haven't generated much in the way of a pass rush.
Why it makes sense: Suh can provide an upgrade in both pass rush and run support and has that old Raiders mean streak.
Why it doesn't make sense: He perhaps has too much of that mean streak. He also has said he wants to join a big market team. That isn't Oakland.
He has played well at outside linebacker for the Eagles, but he is better suited for 4-3 defensive end which is where he had a standout rookie season in 2012 with 31 QB hurries and 7 sacks.
Why it makes sense: Raiders very much has a need at defensive end and Graham is a young, proven pass rusher.
Why it doesn't make sense: The Eagles asking price could be a bit steep and we know Reggie McKenzie is reluctant to part from high draft picks.
In the same trade scenario that had Graham to the Raiders, ESPN grouped LeSean McCoy as well. The trade details presented are downright ridiculous involving the Eagles jumping up to the number one overall pick so they can take Marcus Mariota to replace Nick Foles at quarterback.
Why it makes sense: Raiders need a feature back. Darren McFadden has never been the answer and is on a one-year deal to find a taker on the open market. Maurice Jones-Drew is on his last legs.
Why it doesn't make sense: He comes with a pretty hefty salary in a league where the running back position is not as valued as it once was. Good running backs can be found in the third round so why would the Raiders give up much for him?
Fellow SB Nation blog, Big Blue View got silly and tossed out JPP's name as a potential trade bait to the Raiders. It seems everyone has an idea for the Raiders to give up what they expect to be the number one overall pick.
Why it makes sense: He's one of the premiere pass rushers in the NFL and has worked with Justin Tuck in New York for four seasons.
Why it doesn't make sense: The Giants wouldn't give him up for anything less than a top pick and the Raiders aren't parting with their top pick.
In closing, I don't see the Raiders making any big moves at the trade deadline. Though there is an outside chance they could look to add a depth player for a low round pick, but it's hard to predict who those players might be.
Their own players are either young building blocks or old and lack value on the trade market. They also have no depth to be sending players anywhere