During this long period of losing, the Raiders have tried to plug holes through free agency. They've had little success. High profile pros came in and the team kept losing. The draft has been a little more successful. We've managed to keep and develope a small core of solid players. That core has to be expanded to have success, short-term and long. Trades have supplemented our core with added talent. The man behind it all, in the good years and the bad, has been Raiders' Owner Al Davis.
For each of the past few seasons, it has been clear to me, that the Raiders aren't coming up with enough talent, to compete well in the AFC West. Every year, the Chargers, and sometimes, the Broncos have outdone the Silver & Black, in restocking their teams with talent.
Our most glaring failures have occurred in free agency, and in the upper rounds of the NFL draft. Our 1st and 2nd round picks have been mostly disappointments. With the 2010 draft approaching, I have a suggestion, for Mr. Davis.
It's a simple idea. One he's already exercised, this off-season. I suggest, in order to improve the Raiders more quickly, that Mr. Davis do more of it. Trade. Trade. Trade!
I'd suggest making a predraft trade to address one of our needs. We can make offers to RFA offensive tackles like Jared Gaither (Ravens) or Jermon Bushrod (Saints). Of course, his team could choose to keep him by matching the Raiders' offer. If not, the Raiders would get one of them for our 2nd round pick(#39). It would be worth trying to do. Perhaps there's a talented defensive tackle, middle linebacker, or guard available. Perhaps, we could acquire draftpicks in trade for some of our RFAs. OLB Thomas Howard and MLB Kirk Morrison are available. We could lose one, or both of them, and our linebacking situation would stay about the same. We'd gain a draftpick or two, though.
That's the kind of move the Raiders should be making. The more new talent that can be brought in, the better our chances are of meeting our needs. Mr. Davis should have the goal of acquiring more 2010 draftpicks. Surely, he's just as tired, as we fans are, of waiting for the wins to start coming again. After a couple of years, of making small strides, the Raiders need to leap ahead. The way to do that, is to use the most valuable tool, at our disposal. That's right, Mr. Davis. We need to trade our 1st round draftpick!
I know that you don't like doing that. You've been against trading down in the past. However, that #8 pick has a lot of leverage. If used wisely, it can be turned into several more picks. Here's a couple of examples:
1) Swap with the 49ers, at #17. The Raiders' #8 spot is valued at 1400 pts. The #17 spot is worth 950 pts. A difference of 450 pts. To make a fairly equal trade, the 49ers would have to give the Raiders that difference in added picks. The 49ers' 2nd rounder, at#49, is worth 410 pts. The 49ers' 5th rounder, at #145, is worth 33.5 pts. So, that adds up to 1393.5 pts. for those three picks. The Raiders could also ask for the 49ers' 7th rounder, at #224, worth 2 pts. At 1395.5 pts, these 4 picks still come up a little short of the value of the Raiders' #8 pick. 4 picks for 1. If you can get it, you make the trade.
2) Swap with the Eagles, at #24. That spot is worth 740 pts. A difference of 660 pts. To come close to making up the difference, the Eagles would have to give the Raiders a combination of picks like this: 2nd round pick, #55, worth 350 pts., and 3rd round pick, #70, worth 240 pts., and 4th round pick, #121, worth 52 pts., and 6th round pick, #200, worth 11.4 pts. Those 5 picks' value totals 1393.4 pts. Still not quite equal to the value of that #8 pick! The Eagles have 7 picks left and have moved into the top 10. Might be a good deal for a team, like the Eagles, with fewer needs. For a team like the Raiders, with more needs, it's really worthwhile!
So, come on, Mr. Davis. Isn't it time to trade? Time to find a real good trading partner. Could be quite a few teams wanting to get a top-10 pick. They want what we've got and we want what they have. It's a win-win for us and someone else. Don't wait any longer. I urge you to do it this time. Make the leap. Let's make a deal. Trade!