NFL trade deadline: Why Raiders were wise to show prudence, discipline

NFL trade deadline: Why Raiders were wise to show prudence, discipline

The NFL trade deadline has come and gone. The Raiders' roster looks the same.

That’s not a bad thing.

It also doesn’t mean the Raiders were ignoring phone calls. They were making and taking them heading toward Tuesday’s 1 p.m. PT deadline. They didn’t make a move for the sake of making one, proof that: A. They value draft capital that will be the lifeblood of a multiyear roster rebuild that isn’t anywhere close to done, and B. Discipline reigned over making a quick fix.

Look. They needed help at pass rusher and linebacker. They were still considering receiver options.

Not buying with a deadline deal also doesn’t mean they’re cashing in this season’s chips at 3-4 with an easier schedule on the horizon. There’s a competitive team already intact, albeit with some thin and weaker spots on defense that could be a liability down the stretch.

Discipline in the trade market is hard, especially with a head coach in Jon Gruden dying to win right now ultimately in charge of personnel. They didn’t want to weigh next year’s cap space down with a heavy, veteran contract or hurt next year’s draft class by removing a top pick from the cache.

Let’s not forget that the Raiders ultimately made three in-season trades and dealt for Antonio Brown just before the league year began. They weren’t afraid to make deals. That must also be weighed into the team’s inaction at the deadline itself.

The Brown experiment was a disaster. There’s little arguing that.

The in-season trades added depth to the receiver corps without sacrificing a top pick. Gruden and Mike Mayock got Trevor Davis for a 2020 sixth-round pick and Zay Jones for a 2021 fifth-rounder. Davis is 26 years old and Jones just 24, with Jones having a year left on his rookie deal.

They got a third-round draft pick for Gareon Conley, a player who wasn’t in their long-term plans with cornerbacks Travyon Mullen and Isaiah Johnson taken in the first four rounds of last year’s NFL draft.

They have two first-round picks and three third-round selections in next year’s draft, allowing them to move most anywhere to take players they want. They can be aggressive moving up the draft board if they choose, considering the generally quality gets throughout the 2019 draft.

While Oakland fans in particular may have wanted the Raiders to go big in the last year here in the East Bay, the organization’s power players are thinking about building a foundation for sustained success. They understand not every draft pick will be perfect, but having more bites at the apple will help acquire quality young players.

[RELATED: Three winners, three losers from the NFL trade deadline]

Standing pat might not be the fun, buzz generator that a late acquisition might’ve been, but remaining active but discipline was the prudent course of action here. Sticking to player and draft pick valuations is key to getting this rebuild right.

The Raiders have plenty of cap space heading into 2020 and an arsenal of draft opportunities. Now they just have to spend and select right.

Las Vegas Raiders can use Tom Brady to build business, Jay Glazer says


Las Vegas Raiders can use Tom Brady to build business, Jay Glazer says

While Derek Carr was in Las Vegas for the Raiders' official rebranding this week, speculation about Tom Brady joining the Silver and Black continues to simmer.

Two weeks ago, The Athletic's Jay Glazer said that Brady to the Raiders is a "no-brainer" because it would help with ticket sales, among other things.

On Friday, Glazer added a bit more context when asked again about where Brady will play next season.

"I said it last week, the Chargers or the Raiders," Glazer wrote. "I spoke about the business side of things. You guys kind of jumped on me talking about how great ticket sales are for the Raiders. I don’t know if I said ticket sales or not but there’s way more than ticket sales when you’re building up a business. They can use Tom Brady to build the business of the Raiders, which will now be an international team. I say that because of all the big business whales from all over the world who are going to come to Las Vegas and now be exposed to the Raiders."

"That’s going to be a hot ticket. The international marketing will be huge. The Raiders are going to be big players internationally with that. That’s why I would think it’s a brilliant move to go to Vegas."

Brady, who will turn 43 years old before the start of the 2020 NFL season, is a free agent and could move on the Patriots, the only franchise he has ever known.

Carr is under contract with the Raiders for three more seasons, and recently said he is "looking forward" to being under center for the first snap in Las Vegas. But head coach Jon Gruden didn't give the most glowing endorsement of Carr after the regular-season finale in December.

All of this has fueled chatter that the Raiders could bring in Brady to help open their first season in Sin City.

[RELATED: Kiper has Raiders taking two Sooners]

While Brady led the Patriots to a 12-4 record this past season, his numbers declined, suggesting that his best days are behind him.

If owner Mark Davis and Gruden want to win games and continue to build a solid foundation for the future, they'll stick with Carr. If they are more concerned with making a sexy splash, they'll make the change to Brady.

Derek Carr 'looking forward' to being QB in Raiders' Las Vegas opener

Derek Carr 'looking forward' to being QB in Raiders' Las Vegas opener

Out of a possible 96 starts since being drafted by the Raiders in 2014, quarterback Derek Carr has been under center for 94 of them.

But after a disappointing 7-9 season, many Raiders fans have clamored for a change at the game’s most important position.

Carr, however, hasn’t paid the rumors or social media fodder too much attention.

“But I'll say it this way,” Carr said (h/t ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez). “I look forward to taking the first snap in that stadium, and I look forward to taking every snap from here on out -- until I'm done."

The 28-year-old had a career year in 2019, setting career-highs in passing yards (4,054), yards per attempt (7.9), and quarterback rating (100.8).

But coach Jon Gruden grew frustrated with Carr’s inability to throw the ball downfield consistently, and some potential free agent quarterbacks reportedly have caught the Raiders’ eye.

[RELATED: Raiders should pay attention to these 10 Senior Bowl stars]

As the team re-brands and moves into its new home in Sin City, some believe the team will bring on a new starting signal-caller to usher in the Las Vegas Raiders era.

Just don’t count Carr among them.