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Ron Schwane/Associated Press
New Las Vegas Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler has already shown he’s not afraid to make a big trade.
The former Patriots executive has already swung two major deals in his short time with the Raiders. His trades for Davante Adams and Rock-Ya Sin are perhaps the biggest moves they have made in an offseason packed with change.
So while it’s rare for notable swaps to go down this time of year, the Raiders shouldn’t be counted out.
The team is clearly looking to compete now, and the AFC West is set to be a historically difficult division.
These trades might be improbable and would send some shockwaves, but they make sense if the Raiders are looking to maximize their window right now.
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Nick Wass/Associated Press
The Raiders trading for the Baltimore Raven’s Chuck Clark might not be shocking in a vacuum, but acquiring him to replace a former first-round pick in Jonathan Abram would be noteworthy.
The team has already hinted it isn’t all that invested in Abram. He was one of three former first-rounders the new regime elected not to pick up the fifth-year option on.
That leaves Abram playing on the final year of his rookie deal. While the initial plan might be to move on from the safety after the 2022 season, the Raiders could kick that plan into gear a year early.
Clark has been a consistent starter for the Ravens over the last three seasons. However, the team picked Kyle Hamilton in the first round of the draft, leaving Clark without a guaranteed spot in the starting lineup.
The 27-year-old might not be quite as good a run defender as Abram, but he’s certainly an upgrade in coverage. Clark has allowed passer ratings of 81.9, 84.5 and 75.1 over the last three seasons. Abram has given up a rating of 109.7 or higher every year in that same span.
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Daniel Kucin Jr./Associated Press
Andre Dillard has been a constant name on the trade block going back to last season. The former first-round pick lost his job to Jordan Mailata, who ended up playing well enough to earn a massive contract extension.
Yet most of the offseason has come and gone with Dillard remaining on the roster.
Perhaps the trade speculation has been centered on the wrong tackle in Philadelphia. The Eagles are still a young team with a core of players who are either still on their rookie contracts or just having signed a new pact.
Lane Johnson does not fit into that window of contention. The 32-year-old is still playing incredibly well at right tackle, but by the time the Eagles are ready to compete, Johnson will be closer to 35.
Johnson’s contract is not a small one, but the Eagles would still save $8.8 million if Johnson were traded after June 1.
There are no indications that Johnson is available at this point. The Eagles do have options to replace him on the roster if he were to be traded, though. Dillard could play on the right or Jack Driscoll could kick outside permanently.
Johnson would be a massive improvement over Brandon Parker or Alex Leatherwood and give the Raiders two bookend tackles in Kolton Miller and Johnson.
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Ron Schwane/Associated Press
The first two trade ideas are about making the 2022 team better. Trading away Josh Jacobs would be a move with an eye to the future.
Jacobs has been a good back for the Raiders—he’s racked up at least 1,200 yards in each of his first three pro seasons. But with Josh McDaniels taking over, Jacobs could be more valuable to other franchises in the league than the Raiders.
McDaniels’ background with the Patriots would tell us he’s going to favor a backfield-by-committee approach. Their moves this offseason would further cement that idea.
They signed Ameer Abdullah and Brandon Bolden in addition to drafting Zamir White in the fourth round.
Much like Abram, the Raiders already declined Jacobs’ fifth-year option. That doesn’t mean they are out on him, as they could still sign him to an extension. However, the Raiders would have a respectable backfield even without him.
A combination of Kenyan Drake, Zamir White and Bolden would be able to provide a facsimile of Jacobs’ production without relying on one back. That should be enough to consider moving on if they can get a worthwhile pick in the 2023 draft.