The Oakland Raiders ended the season with the worst defense in the NFL in terms of points allowed, and near the bottom in yards allowed. Their offense wasn’t much better, finishing 28th in points and 23rd in yards. They traded away Khalil Mack, and later WR Amari Cooper. They finished the season 4-12, with two teams in their division - the Chiefs and Chargers - having finished 12-4.
The Raiders have a lot of salary cap space, and three first round draft picks- the 4th, 25th and 27th picks. They have even more holes in their roster, and a lot to improve to be competitive in their division.
So what should Raiders new GM Mike Mayock and Head Coach Jon Gruden do to fill the holes in their roster and be more competitive in their division?
Call Trader Rick Spielman.
The Raiders need to upgrade a lot of positions, including: edge rushers, cornerback, safety, wide receiver - they could even use a right tackle to potentially replace the aging Donald Penn, who turns 36 in April and has missed most of this past season and a couple games in 2017 on IR.
The Vikings could help the Raiders potentially upgrade all of those spots, laying the groundwork for a mega-deal that could help both teams. Here is the deal.
What the Raiders Get
The Vikings send the Raiders five players that could upgrade starting positions for them next season:
- DE Everson Griffen
- CB Trae Waynes
- WR Laquon Treadwell
- S Andrew Sendejo
- RT Mike Remmers
Those three guys on defense would go a long way toward improving the Raiders defensive rankings, while Treadwell could help upgrade their receiver group, which features an aging Jordy Nelson and then some ‘big names’ like Seth Roberts and Marcell Ateman. Martavis Bryant, who the Raiders acquired from the Steelers, was suspended indefinitely. Not much point to having a QB like Derek Carr on the roster if he doesn’t have anyone to throw to.
And Mike Remmers, while nothing special, could feel a need for the Raiders back at right tackle if they move on from Donald Penn, or if he decides to retire. It may be good to have another capable lineman anyway as backup if Penn or others go down. This is a team that picked up TJ Clemmings. Enough said.
Right now, the Raiders don’t have much to compete with, and although they’ve got cap space and draft picks, that may not be enough to be competitive next season. Part of that is even though they have the salary cap space, they’ll have a hard time attracting players to their organization, which is in a shambles between lack of a competitive roster, where they’ll play, and a lot of drama between coach and players.
Bringing in a bunch of rookies, that need time (and good coaching/organization) to develop, first-round or not, may not be the best way to go for the Raiders, who’ve had trouble getting the most from their draft picks in the past. Past picks like Amari Cooper, Kolton Miller, Gareon Conway, Jihad Ward, Obi Melifonwu, and PJ Hall haven’t panned out all that well considering they were all first- or second-round picks.
What the Vikings Get
In return for sending the Raiders five potential/likely starters for them next season, the Vikings get the Raiders draft picks #25 (first-round) and #36 (second-round) overall.
Is that a good deal for the Vikings?
Well, Everson Griffen has been a top DE for many years, and still has some good years left in him - and four years left on his contract. But from a salary cap perspective, it’s difficult for the Vikings to keep him. For the Raiders, there’s not much dead cap if they want to cut him loose at any point.
Mike Remmers has three years left on his contract, but minimal dead cap to cut it short.
Trae Waynes, Laquon Treadwell, and Andrew Sendejo are all on the last years of their contracts, although the Raiders could take the option year on Treadwell as a first-round pick. The Raiders would also be free to negotiate to extend these players as they choose.
So, the Raiders would be getting much more proven talent than they would with their #25 and #36 picks. Griffen and Remmers are locked in for a few more years if the Raiders want to keep them, and can release them without much of a cap hit.
Waynes is a young cornerback entering his prime, but it would be up to the Raiders to extend him.
Treadwell could prove to be a nice addition to the Raiders receiver group given the dearth of talent they have there. And he could probably be easily re-signed for not a lot if they choose to do so.
And finally Andrew Sendejo has the kind of hard-hitting physical play that the Raiders and Jon Gruden like to see, and he too could be extended without too much trouble after what amounts to a one-year deal.
All five could be multi-year starters for the Raiders. But the Raiders take on risk if they can’t extend the guys with one year left on their deal, which brings down the price, but all five players come without much commitment from the Raiders if they don’t pan out.
For the Vikings, they have the opportunity for compensation for several players they no longer need due to strength at a position group (Waynes, Sendejo, Treadwell), salary cap constraints (Griffen), or just not needed anymore (Remmers) given that Remmers didn’t pan out at guard and O’Neill is promising at right tackle.
Getting two top draft picks could go a long way to solidifying the interior offensive line and defensive tackle spot, which are the remaining holes in their starting roster. Making the trade would also free up some needed salary cap space they could use to bring in a free agent center like Mike Paradis, and also extend Anthony Barr and Anthony Harris.
But as exciting as top draft picks are to imagine turning into star players, this doesn’t happen as much, or as soon, as teams hope. Just ask the Raiders. So the Vikings also take on some risk in making the trade - one or both of their draft picks could not pan out.
Could a Deal Like This Really Happen ?
Of course deals like this rarely happen, in part because teams rarely have a number of players another team could actually use - and pay for - both in terms of draft picks and salary cap.
But with the Vikings flush in their defensive secondary after guys like Mike Hughes, Holton Hill and Anthony Harris showed a lot of promise this past season, and Danielle Hunter and emerging talent at DE making it possible to part ways with Everson Griffen and his cap hit, the groundwork it there for a deal that is fair to both sides.
Fun to think about.
Would you trade Everson Griffen, Trae Waynes, Mike Remmers, Andrew Sendejo, and Laquon Treadwell to the Raiders for the 25th and 36th pick in this year’s draft?
This poll is closed