With the Raiders squarely in contention for an AFC playoff spot they are reportedly looking to bolster their chances by adding a pass rusher, linebacker, or both at the Oct. 29 trade deadline, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Raiders will be buyers at Oct. 29 trade deadline. Already have called around the league looking for LBs and pass rush help, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 20, 2019
With a strong, albeit uneven start to the season, the Raiders appear to firmly be deadline buyers, while some teams like the Bengals, Dolphins, Falcons and Redskins are obvious sellers, with a few teams likely to follow suit.
Though Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock may wait until the eve of the deadline to make a move, it’s never too early to start speculating who the Silver & Black might acquire.
Vic Beasley, EDGE Atlanta Falcons
Beasley is firmly on the trade block, according to ESPN’s Vaughn McClure. And it’s no surprise why. The 27-year old, former No. 8 overall pick broke out in his second season in the league with 15.5 sacks, but he’s been nothing more than an average, one-dimensional pass rusher since. Despite Beasley’s status on the trade block and his lack of production (only 1.5 sacks this year), he’s on pace for his most total pressures since his gaudy 2016 season.
The Raiders could likely acquire Beasley from Atlanta for a late-round pick and throw him into the pass-rushing rotation as a third-down specialist. He’s under contract this season for $12.81 million, but Oakland can afford that with Antonio Brown’s salary out of the picture.
Jerome Baker, ILB Miami Dolphins
Despite the Dolphins tanking harder than any team ever has before, they shouldn’t want to sell off good young players like Jerome Baker. However, that hasn’t stopped them with Laremy Tunsil and Minkah Fitzpatrick, and it probably wouldn’t stop them if the Raiders offered a nice package for Baker.
The second-year former third-round pick has been one of the lone bright spots for the Dolphins. His sideline-to-sideline range and ability to cover running backs and tight ends should pique the Raiders. He fits into the undersized, coverage linebacker role that the Raiders are sorely missing.
If the Dolphins are really interested in acquiring draft picks at all costs, the Raiders could swap a future second-rounder or a third-rounder plus a late-round pick for Baker.
Ryan Kerrigan, EDGE Washington
One of the most underrated edge rushers in the NFL, Kerrigan has been a stalwart of Washington’s defense since entering the league in 2011. He’s played in a variety of schemes, lining up with his hand in the dirt as a 4-3 defensive end and as a standup rusher in a versatile 3-4 alignment and has had success in both spots. He’s had 11 sacks or more in four of his eight full seasons in the league, and has never had less than 7.5 in a season, with that career low coming during his rookie year.
The Redskins haven’t suggested that Kerrigan is available, but with the team looking to get younger and possessing capable backups, the Raiders should make some calls and inquire about his availability. He’s owed a base salary of $10.5 million this year and $11.5 million next year, which the Redskins may not be keen on paying if they’re not in contention. An offering of a third-round pick could be enough to grease the wheels for a trade here.
Reggie Ragland, ILB Kansas City Chiefs
Division foes rarely trade with one another, but with Ragland falling out of the Chiefs plans at Mike, they could be willing to ship him off to Oakland for a late-round choice. Ragland has only tallied five total tackles this season as he’s fallen behind Anthony Hitchens and Ben Nieman on the depth chart. He’s a thumping middle linebacker who could capably fill the role vacated by Vontaze Burfict.
Ragland is no stranger to being traded to an AFC West team, as the Bills traded him to Kansas City one year after drafting him in second-round, despite the fact that he never played a single down for the team due to a rookie-season ACL tear. If the Chiefs are willing to take a sixth or seventh-round selection for Ragland, the Raiders could take a flier on him.
Sean Lee, ILB Dallas Cowboys
It may be tough to pry Sean Lee for Jerry Jones’ fingers, but with the Cowboys already possessing the best linebacker duo in the league in Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch, Lee could be expendable. The 33-year old veteran would be nothing more than a stopgap band-aid in the Raiders defense, but he’d be an excellent leader as they look to make a playoff push.
Frankly, Lee is much too good to be used as sparingly as he has been in Dallas this year, even despite his advanced age. He’s never played with a different organization, so it may be weird to see Lee dawning Silver and Black, but he makes sense from a fit perspective as a versatile ‘backer who can man the middle or cover on the outside. A fifth-round pick should be enough to acquire Lee, although Jones may scoff at any offer for his beloved aging linebacker.