NFL trade deadline

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.

NFL trade deadline winners, losers: Teams that made best, worst moves

NFL trade deadline winners, losers: Teams that made best, worst moves

The 2019 NFL trade deadline has come and gone, with several teams making big-time changes to their rosters. On the other hand, a plethora of teams stood pat at Tuesday's 1 p.m. PT deadline, for both good and bad reasons. 

Here in the Bay Area, the 49ers upgraded considerably with the addition of wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. The Raiders made several moves in previous weeks, including trading for wide receiver Zay Jones while shipping cornerback Gareon Conley off to Houston. 

With the trade deadline over, here are three winners and three losers from around the league. 

Winners

San Francisco 49ers 

The 49ers have an elite defense and a two-headed monster in their backfield with Matt Breida and Tevin Coleman. There was one missing ingredient and general manager John Lynch went out and got it. 

San Francisco acquired Sanders one week ago in a trade with the Denver Broncos, and coach Kyle Shanahan didn't waste any time getting Sanders involved in his offense. He played nearly every snap Sunday in the 49ers' 51-13 win over the Panthers and made an immediate impact. 

Sanders had four receptions for 25 yards and a touchdown in his 49ers debut. He instantly became the team's No. 1 receiver and is a sure-handed option for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. 

Lynch and Shanahan aren't messing around. They have the Super Bowl on their minds.

New England Patriots

As if the 8-0 Patriots needed more help. Well, that's exactly what they got in receiver Mohamed Sanu, who they acquired in a trade with the Atlanta Falcons. 

New England added Sanu before the 49ers' trade for Sanders. Lynch admitted San Francisco was in on both receivers, and Sanu seemed like a perfect fit with as a big slot receiver who has played for Shanahan in the past. 

The 49ers and Patriots could be on a collision course heading toward the Super Bowl. If that's the case, Robert Saleh's defense will have to slow down a player San Francisco had its eyes on. 

Baltimore Ravens

Oakland native Marcus Peters was traded from the Rams to the Ravens two weeks ago, and it already looks like a great move.

Peters recorded a pick six in his Ravens debut in a 30-16 win over the Seahawks and didn't allow a single catch. He excels in zone coverage and fits the Ravens' scheme much better than the Rams' man-heavy defense. 

The Ravens could face the likes of Tom Brady, Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes or Jacoby Brissett in the playoffs. They need a stout defensive backfield, and Peters might be the perfect addition.

Losers

Cincinnati Bengals

What the hell is going on in Cincinnati? The 0-8 Bengals seem to have no plan and absolutely blew it at this year's trade deadline. 

Quarterback Andy Dalton was benched Tuesday -- literally on his 32nd birthday -- for a rookie named Ryan Finley (?), and that was their most sane move of the day, because it actually was a move. This team is going nowhere this season. The Bengals have to focus on the future, hence the Dalton benching. But every other decision shows their incompetence. 

#FreeAJGreen was trending Tuesday, and for good reason. The Bengals wouldn't trade the star receiver, who is set to become a free agent this offseason, because, well ... who knows. 

Figure it out, Cincy. 

Washington

Speaking of incompetence, say hello to the Washington Football Team. 

Washington has held on to one of the best trade pieces in the league all season long, and then just began taking calls on offensive tackle Trent Williams with 48 hours to go until the deadline before ultimately holding on to him. 

Williams, who has made seven straight Pro Bowls, requested a trade months ago. Washington refused and he hasn't played a single game this season. Even if he does hit the field this year, this was another 'L' in Washington. 

As long as the team's name remains, this franchise will be on the wrong side of doing the right thing. Dropping the ball with Williams is just the latest example. 

Denver Broncos

Receiving third and fourth-round draft picks from the 49ers for Sanders, who is due to be a free agent this offseason, was a solid haul for the Broncos. But general manager John Elway is stuck in the middle without a sense of reality. 

Trading Sanders shows Elway understands the 2-6 Broncos should go through a rebuild. Holding onto impending free-agent cornerback Chis Harris Jr. shows he truly doesn't know the direction of his team. 

[RELATED: Why Sanders compared studying 49ers' offense to college]

The Broncos reportedly were asking for a heavy haul from teams in exchange for Harris. The reality is, that wasn't going to happen for a 30-year-old who is under contract for $12.5 million this season, his last before free agency. 

If there was a 6-foot-9 quarterback available, then Elway might have made a deal. But Brock Osweiler already retired.

NFL trade deadline: Could 49ers, Bears make C.J. Beathard-Taylor Gabriel swap?

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NFL trade deadline: Could 49ers, Bears make C.J. Beathard-Taylor Gabriel swap?

Tuesday's NFL trade deadline is fast approaching, and 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard soon will know his fate one way or the other.

Beathard fell to third on the 49ers' depth chart this preseason after losing the backup QB competition to Nick Mullens, and San Francisco has kept three signal-callers on its roster since then. Coach Kyle Shanahan said in August that the plan all along was to have three QBs, and a source told NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco on Sunday that the 49ers have received less-than-satisfactory offers in the "sixth-round range" for Beathard.

So, could a player-for-player swap entice the 49ers to part with the 2017 third-round draft pick?

ESPN's Adam Schefter spoke with "Kap & Co." on WMVP-AM in Chicago on Monday, and was asked if the 3-4 Bears could be a landing spot for Beathard, considering 2017 first-round pick Mitchell Trubisky's struggles. Schefter, who later noted he was "just spit-balling" and "sure that's probably not a trade that could happen," wondered if the Bears would trade wide receiver Taylor Gabriel for Beathard.

"[49ers coach] Kyle Shanahan knows how to use Taylor Gabriel as well as anybody," Schefter said. "They're winning, and Taylor Gabriel would be dangerous in that offense."

Two of Gabriel's three most prolific seasons came with Shanahan as his offensive coordinator. Gabriel caught 36 passes for 621 yards in 2014 as a rookie with the Cleveland Browns, and he later grabbed 35 balls for 579 yards and a career-high six touchdowns with the Super Bowl-bound Atlanta Falcons in 2016. He caught a career-high 67 passes for 688 yards last season, but Gabriel has just 14 receptions for 169 yards through five games with the Bears this season.

The 49ers upgraded their receiving corps last week when they traded for Emmanuel Sanders, but there's still some uncertainty on their depth chart. Injured receivers Jalen Hurd and Trent Taylor might not come back at all this season. and no wideout other than Sanders had more than three targets in Sunday's win over the Carolina Panthers.

Gabriel's contract isn't guaranteed beyond this season, so the 49ers still would have flexibility this offseason -- just as acquiring pending free agent Sanders did.

[RELATED: Why Sherman hasn't been surprised by Bosa's unreal start?]

Schefter couched his speculation enough to throw ice-cold water on even the thought of a Gabriel-Beathard swap. However, it's also worth noting that Shanahan and the 49ers are very high on Beathard, who was the first QB selected by Shanahan and general manager John Lynch. Plus, the 49ers' complement of pass-catching running backs alongside Sanders gives quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo a good number of options in the passing game, even if the receiving corps lacks experience. The 49ers also used second-round picks on Dante Pettis and Deebo Samuel in each of the last two years, and would like to see them continue to develop.

The 49ers are 7-0 ahead of the trade deadline, so they don't have too many pressing roster questions to answer. Their third-string QB's status is just about as close as it gets, and it remains to be seen if a team will match the 49ers' asking price.