The draft’s right around the corner for the Raiders. Without a first- or second-round pick, their fans are wondering about the possibility of moving back into the first round via a blockbuster trade.
That is one of the many questions in this week’s mailbag.
Here is a sample of what we received:
@ronnietaylor23 (@rtaylor1623): Who is getting traded to move us back into round one or two?
VINCENT BONSIGNORE: It’s understandable that fans are eager to get back into the first or second round, but keep in mind two things: Davante Adams is essentially the Raiders’ first-round pick this year, and to secure a player of his stature, the Raiders had to give up their second-round pick.
Think of it this way. There was zero chance they would have landed a wide receiver as good as Adams with the 22nd overall pick, or even had they moved up into the top five, which would have required giving up more than what they gave to Green Bay to acquire Adams. That makes the trade a slam dunk.
The question now becomes, is there a player in the first or second round that the Raiders absolutely have to have? And is that desire to secure him so strong that they are willing to give up the type of assets needed to move up?
To get back into the first, the starting point for a deal would be Derek Carr or Darren Waller or Maxx Crosby or Kolton Miller. Is there someone so compelling that you would be willing to surrender a foundational player from the current roster to secure?
Or, they could offer their first-round pick next year, plus their third-round pick this year, which might get them into the back of the first round. The Lions are sitting at No. 32 — one of their two first-round picks — and might be a target in that scenario.
The Lions also pick at No. 34 — a second-round selection — and the Raiders could send next year’s first, and maybe a fourth this year, to move into that slot.
Big Ben Raiders Version (@Pitz73): With a good year from Darren Waller, and with Davante Adams, Derek Carr and Hunter Renfrow all potentially getting big money, do you think Waller & Klutch Sports pulls a Tyreek Hill? Tries to break the positional market? Resulting in a blockbuster trade in 2023?
VB: Waller certainly has a strong argument for a new deal. He has two years left on the contract he signed in 2019. At an average of about $7 million per season, he is underpaid compared to his peers thanks to the handful of new contracts given to tight ends the last few years. Waller has produced above and beyond the deal. It’s probably time the Raiders reworked his contract.
Look no further than what the Bills did with Stefon Diggs, who had two years left on his contract. They gave him an extension that pays him in accordance with his peers. The Bills weren’t obligated to do that, but sometimes recognizing production and hard work and what someone means to the organization means rewarding players who outplay their pay.
If the Raiders aren’t interested in that, things could absolutely get interesting. And perhaps sooner rather than later.
randy leduc (@LeducCom): Have you heard any training camp plans? Early morning Las Vegas or is it still possible to return to Napa like they had considered pre-pandemic?
VB: Unless there is a late surprise, the Raiders are expected to hold training camp in Henderson again. So set the alarm clock!
Jonathan Costa (@jcosta7286): Are players waiting for cap hits to come off the board June 1 to sign? Is that why free agents like Stephon Gilmore and Tyrann Mathieu have not signed with teams?
VB: There are various factors in play. Primarily, a lack of compelling offers during the first phase of free agency that leaves them on the outside looking in at the moment. Will that change when more money becomes available for some teams after June 1? Maybe.
But the sense is, no one was in a rush to meet either player’s demands early in the process, so why would that suddenly change in June? At some point, their future comes down to a willingness on their part to play for less than what they expected.
Contact Vincent Bonsignore at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on Twitter.