UPDATE (2:56pm PT on Tuesday): The Raiders announced that they have traded FB Jamize Olawale and a sixth-round pick (192nd overall) in the 2018 NFL Draft to Dallas Cowboys for a fifth-round pick (173rd overall) in the 2018 NFL Draft.
The Raiders lured fullback Keith Smith away from Dallas in free agency. The Cowboys suddenly had a need at the position, and called a Raiders team with a surplus.
They wanted Jamize Olawale, a tough, faster-than-you-think blocking back with receiving skill.
A draft pick swap got it done.
The Raiders traded Olawale and the No. 192 overall pick to Dallas for the No. 173 overall selection. NFL Network first reported the news. The Dallas Morning News revealed trade details.
The Raiders didn’t have a fifth-round pick this year, but now have two after trading Olawale and WR Cordarrelle Patterson in combination with a glut of sixth-round selections. They still have four remaining.
Smith is more of a true blocking fullback Gruden sought. Olawale doesn’t fit that old school mold, but is a versatile player who can produce if used correctly. He has dealt with injuries in the recent past, which also may have been a knock against him.
This thins the running back room a bit, but more ball carriers will be jettisoned before the season starts.
The trade also saved $1.6 million in salary cap space, important for a team where every little bit counts this offseason.
Olawale returns to the team that originally signed him as an 2012 undrafted free agent. He was cut at preseason’s end, and picked up by Oakland. He enjoyed a productive tenure in silver and black, though he wasn’t used much by 2016 offensive coordinator Todd Downing.
The Raiders aren’t necessarily done in free agency. They have a little cap space left, and could look for another receiver or defensive lineman. Middle linebacker NaVorro Bowman remains on the open market, and the Raiders hope to have him back.