I don’t think it’s likely that the Oakland Raiders will make a trade this offseason, but we believe in being thorough at Black Hole Banter so we want to explore all reasonable possibilities.
The most likely trade to be made by the Raiders this offseason would occur during the draft should Reggie McKenzie decide to trade up or down at some point. But that’s not the kind of trade I had in mind. During the draft, trades occur much more frequently and a trade is not seen as a particularly unexpected occurrence. I’m thinking more along the lines of an offseason trade that involves players, not just picks.
I just can’t imagine any reasonable scenarios where the Raiders would trade draft picks or players to obtain other players. I could, however, see the Raiders trading a player to get draft picks. Two players in particular:
As I discussed earlier in the offseason, Dan Williams is a prime candidate to be cut or asked to re-structure his contract. After a solid first season, he took a big step backwards and is at the point in his contract where being cut won’t hurt the Raiders. He wouldn’t fetch a whole lot on the trade market, but if the Raiders are already thinking about cutting him, it might be worth putting his name out there and seeing if anyone bites. Even if it’s for a late round draft pick, that’s better than nothing if the team has already decided to part ways. The problem would be finding a team willing to pay his salary. The Raiders clearly don’t think he’s worth the moneyso it might be hard to convince another team he’s worth the money and a draft pick.
Seth Roberts is technically a free agent, but he’s an exclusive rights free agent. That means that if the Raiders want to keep him around, which they likely do, they can do so for a very reasonable price and Roberts can’t say no unless he wants to sit out of football for a year. Re-signing Roberts is a no-brainer. Keeping him around after that isn’t quite as obvious. It’s possible that the Raiders will look to upgrade the slot receiver position, and if so, Roberts would become expendable. And while his drops may have frustrated Raiders fans, he is a guy who shows up well on tape. When not dropping easy passes, he’s converting tough ones then using his athleticism to get yards after the catch. If he was more consistent with his hands, he could be really good. And it’s that potential combined with youth that would give him some value on the trade market. So even if the Raiders are thinking about upgrading the position, it would be wise to re-sign Roberts as a safety in case they can’t upgrade, then shop him for picks if they can.
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