When I put the word 'Really' in the headline, it should actually be in all caps. La Canfora went long form today to express just how passionately his opinion is about how interested Raiders should be in signing Jets franchise defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson.
Most of La Canfora's piece is about the stuff we already know -- who the Raiders signed and the fact that they're knocking on the door to being a contender -- so I'll get the meat of it.
Aside from the Raiders being 'this close' to making real noise in the league, La Canfora points to their possible move to Los Angeles, saying "If you are going to L.A., you'd better be ready to win and win people over and have ample star power." and called the addition of Wilkerson a "game changer."
"Wilkerson wouldn't need any provocation to join Oakland. He sees what they are building there and would leap at the opportunity to come on board. If Jets owner Woody Johnson ever had any real interest in keeping the versatile player, well, he's never displayed it, failing to budget for a fair-market deal for him under two different regimes and dating back several years. He could've had Wilkerson at $13 million a year a year ago and balked.
Now, with Marcel Dareus getting $60 million guaranteed and guys like Vernon making $18 million a year, the market has moved massively and Johnson continues to lag far behind. So why not get together with Davis down there in Boca Raton next week and work something out? Maybe a couple of second-rounders?
Because I can promise you this much -- Oakland's football people have been infatuated with Wilkerson going back to last spring, when trade rumors percolated after the Jets drafted defensive lineman Leonard Williams in the first round. Oakland had interest then and still would now. With Wilkerson on board they'd have a lynchpin who could help them toggle even more seamlessly between a 4-3 (Wilkerson could play three or five technique) and a 3-4, where Wilkerson already moves between tackle and end."
"Adding Wilkerson, still just 26 years old, would bring stability and bite to that defense, a piece they could count on for years to come. It would be the most impactful move of any this offseason, I believe."
Making such a trade is out of character for Reggie McKenzie who places high value on his draft picks. The most McKenzie has ever done is trade down, as he did in the 2013 draft, moving from number 3 overall to number 12 to pick up a second rounder. Trading down to add more picks is essentially the opposite of trading picks away for players.
While La Canfora is looking at McKenzie to keep adding pieces as he has already this offseason, he is asking Mark 'What would Al do?' and to implement it at the owners meetings this weekend.
"They may be able to bend the Jets' ear without having to part with their first-round pick and now Mark Davis would do well to channel his father's aggressive tendencies and explore a move that might result in the Raiders' final game at the decrepit O.co Coliseum coming in mid-January, in the playoffs, celebrating a division title."
The whole idea seems a bit far fetched, honestly. Wilkerson and the Jets haven't been able to come close to a deal which is why he was slapped with the franchise tag. It's one thing to pay top dollar for a free agent, it's another to pay top dollar and give up high draft picks on top of that.
Then again, going after a proven commodity in exchange for unproven draft picks can be tempting.