We're a little less than 24 hours away from the NFL trade deadline, and the Oakland Raiders could be potential buyers as the clock winds down.
Through eight weeks of the regular season, the Silver and Black have already made a trio of moves, trading for wide receivers Trevor Davis and Zay Jones, while sending cornerback Gareon Conley away for a third-round pick. The trades for Davis and Jones were necessary moves with so many injuries at the wide receiver position, and the team finds itself once again in a similar predicament.
Monday afternoon, Head Coach Jon Gruden spoke with reporters about Sunday's loss to the Houston Texans, and explained why the team is making calls around the league ahead of the trade deadline. The Raiders currently have only two healthy linebackers on the roster, after losing Vontaze Burfict to suspension, Marquel Lee to injury, and Jason Phillips to a season-ending knee injury which he suffered against the Texans. So, finding more depth at the position is the top priority right now.
"We did lose Justin Philips, linebacker, for the season," Gruden said. "He had a knee injury yesterday. We're struggling at linebacker right now with Marquel Lee and Vontaze's [Burfict] suspension. We're going to probably be looking to shore up the linebacker position here in the next 48 hours."
If you're active on social media, or regularly watch NFL Network, you may have seen some potential trade candidates being shopped around the league, but it's never easy pulling off a trade. The Raiders currently have a lot of draft capital with two first-round picks and three third-round picks in next year's draft, but coming to terms on a reasonable deal with an opposing team is a complicated matter.
"How are we approaching [the trade deadline]? Realistic," Coach Gruden said. "you don't just turn on the NFL Network and listen to all the rumors and believe they're all possibly achievable. We're listening to the phone and we're making calls. We're seeing who's really available and what the price tag is.
"When you do make a trade, you inherit the contract and the ramifications of that. Some of these guys are going in on the last year of their contract – that's why they're being shopped. When you do make a trade, you inherit the responsibility of paying the players. Sometimes that's a decision that's tough to weigh. Then you have to decide how much you want to give up. Do you want to give up your draft picks. There's a lot of stuff here in the next five or six days. But we've made three trades. We got Trevor [Davis] in here, we got Zay Jones in here and we traded Gareon [Conley] to get a third-round pick. We have been pretty active compared to other teams."
The Raiders have indeed been active, but there's still time for more. It always feels like the closer the deadline gets the more trades tend to happen.
There aren't a ton of linebackers just floating around as free agents at the moment either, so what Gruden and General Manager Mike Mayock decide to do will be interesting, and we should know in the near future.