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Now more than ever, Raiders need to trade for Seattle’s S Earl Thomas

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NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not often a team manages to knock a draft pick so out of the park as the Raiders did with Khalil Mack, but they just undid it all with one foul swoop. I know the phrase is actually “one fell swoop”, but in this case “foul swoop” is definitely the more appropriate way to say it. The devastating trade of Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears sucks, there’s no way around that.

Jon Gruden and Reggie McKenzie just ripped the heart out of Raider Nation with this one. However, the season is still about to begin despite this monstrous moment in Raiders history. They still will be facing off against the Los Angeles Rams on Monday the 10th, and there is still a lot of roster tweaking that needs to happen by then.

After finding out the details of the horrible compensation the Raiders will receive for Khalil Mack, it’s imperative to not let this be the last big move for the Raiders before the regular season starts. They need to do something else huge, something undeniably positive to begin to take the stank off of this moment. Trading for A.J. McCarron to be the back up QB isn’t enough, they need to do something bigger.

The move they should make is to trade for Seattle Seahawks all-pro safety Earl Thomas. They now are going to have plenty of draft capital in next year’s draft with their own 1st round pick and the 1st rounder they will be receiving from the Bears, that frees up the 2019 2nd round draft pick it would likely take to make a trade for Thomas.

The biggest problem with giving up next year’s 2nd round pick is that they somehow allowed the Bears to fleece their 2020 2nd round pick from them in this horrible Mack trade. That means if they traded next year’s 2nd then they’d go two years in a row without a 2nd round pick. However, they will have 2 first rounders in each of those drafts anyway so they could afford to go without their 2nd round picks if it means they get a player as good as Earl Thomas out of the deal.

Oakland needs a new super star leader alongside Bruce Irvin now that they just traded their best player, and Earl Thomas would absolutely fit that bill for them and has history playing with Irvin in Seattle. The Raiders also now have the cap space to sign Thomas to an extension without having to worry about paying Mack. A new deal would be a necessity because Thomas is currently holding out from Seattle to get a new deal which is why he is available anyway. Last and certainly not least, Oakland’s secondary needs the help now more than ever.

Even before this Mack trade the Raiders secondary was lacking in talent, but taking away the best pass rusher in the game is only going to add more pressure on the Oakland secondary. The Raiders pass rush looks much improved from the previous years, but taking away Mack is still going to leave the opposing quarterbacks with more time to throw than they would have had otherwise.

More time to throw means more time the secondary is going to have to cover opposing players. That makes the safety position even more important and Earl Thomas is as good as it gets in the back end for Seattle. He is capable of covering tight ends, he is a great center fielder who always puts himself in great position to make plays on the ball, and he is a beast at helping in run support. The run support help would be an especially important piece to add as well because Mack was incredible at stopping the run so the Raiders will need extra help in that area too now.

Right now Raider Nation is hurting, the team is hurting, and both need help in recovering from the shock of the Khalil Mack trade. Adding Earl Thomas already made sense anyway, but now it is a move that the Raiders need to seriously consider doing. Thomas would be a great addition to the team as a player, a leader, and as a distraction to this Khalil Mack trade.

They have the need at the position and they have the ammunition needed to make a trade for Earl Thomas happen. The only problem is they might not have the will to do it considering they just made it clear that defense is not an area they are willing to make a huge investment in.