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Silver Minings: Raiders trading 3 OL starters deemed ‘riskiest move’

The Raiders’ OL went from a lot of experience together to not much

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NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Las Vegas Raiders Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Every offseason, NFL teams take a number of risks. They can be trading for a player or trading one away. It can be signing a free agent, or letting a player walk.

While ranking every NFL teams riskiest move of the offseason, Bleacher Report said that the Raiders’ biggest gamble was letting players walk. I think you know where I’m going with this. Three former starters on the Raiders’ offensive line won’t be there this season.

Trent Brown, Rodney Hudson and Gabe Jackson are all gone. Here’s what Bleacher Report had to say about those moves:

Not that long ago, the offensive line was a strength for the Las Vegas Raiders. Now, Pro Football Focus ranks the unit 25th in the league. And the Raiders have no one to blame but themselves.

It’s not just that the Raiders sent right tackle Trent Brown packing. Brown has had trouble staying on the field since signing a four-year, $66 million contract in 2019, and the Raiders drafted a replacement for him in Alabama’s Alex Leatherwood in Round 1 of the 2021 draft.

But then they turned around and all but dumped Pro Bowl center Rodney Hudson in Arizona’s lap, dealing the 31-year-old for a Day 2 pick. And just in case that wasn’t puzzling enough, the fire sale continued—Mike Mayock gave guard Gabe Jackson away, trading the seven-year veteran to Seattle for a Day 3 pick.

This is a Raiders franchise that supposedly fashions itself as being close to a playoff spot. Those aspirations are awfully hard to buy into after the team disassembled the O-line. And Derek Carr best have his scrambling shoes ready for the season opener against the Baltimore Ravens.

Having a solid offensive line is imperative in the NFL. The Raiders had one of the better ones, but now they’ll have lots of new faces protecting Derek Carr in 2021. Let’s hope it works out, because losing three trusted starters up there is quite the gamble.

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