Raiders' Top Trade Candidates Ahead of 2022 Training Camp
The Las Vegas Raiders head into training camp steeped in optimism. The Raiders made the playoffs in 2021, landed on a new head coach in Josh McDaniels, added pass-rusher Chandler Jones to the defense and acquired arguably the league's best receiver in Davante Adams.
On paper, the Raiders have a relatively complete roster with a few exceptions. The offensive line remains a work in progress, while depth along the defensive front and in the secondary is questionable.
With $20.2 million in cap space remaining, the Raiders can afford to make a few more moves as the offseason draws to a close. Of course, adding players requires open roster spots, which could precipitate Las Vegas to offer up some trade chips.
Who might the Raiders be willing to move between now and the start of the season? Below, we'll examine the three best and most logical trade candidates based on factors like past production, player health, contract status and roster depth.
Edge Clelin Ferrell
The Raiders are built to win now and, therefore, are unlikely to flip quality pieces for high draft capital. However, they might be able to get a team to bite on former fourth overall pick Clelin Ferrell in a trade.
Ferrell has largely disappointed in his three seasons with the Raiders, but he has flashed pass-rushing potential. As a rookie in 2019, the Clemson product logged 4.5 sacks. In 2020, he tallied 21 quarterback pressures.
With Jones now on the roster to complement Maxx Crosby, though, Ferrell's role as an edge-defender will be limited. Las Vegas has been cross-training Ferrell this offseason with the hope of finding a place to utilize him.
"When you have somebody as big and athletic as him, all you really try to do is get him as confident as possible so he can play as many positions as possible," defensive line coach Frank Okam said last month, per Adam Hill of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Ferrell appears poised to get one last opportunity to prove himself in Las Vegas—and under new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. He's in the final year of his rookie deal, though, and if another team wants to try unlocking his potential, the Raiders should be willing to negotiate.
And teams regularly take chances on former first-round picks who haven't panned out.
It's not unreasonable to think a team could part with a late Day 2 selection to take a chance on Ferrell, who has impressed in bursts but has thus far failed to put it all together.
TE Jacob Hollister
The Raiders added Jacob Hollister to their tight end room this offseason, and the 28-year-old could serve as valuable depth at the position. Hollister has experience playing for McDaniels—he was with the New England Patriots in 2017 and 2018—and has served as a complementary player with multiple franchises.
However, playing time in Las Vegas could be hard to come by for the Wyoming product. The Raiders have a legitimate star in tight end Darren Waller and a very capable backup in Foster Moreau.
Waller was a Pro Bowler in 2020 but missed six games in 2021. Moreau was more than serviceable when given the opportunity and finished with 30 catches, 373 yards and three touchdowns last season.
If the Raiders are confident in their top two tight ends—and they should be—Hollister could become a prime trade chip to offer to a tight end-needy franchise. His best season came in 2019 with the Seattle Seahawks, where Hollister produced 41 catches for 349 yards and three scores.
Hollister is signed to a modest $1.2 million contract that includes just $76,250 guaranteed. Las Vegas should have little trouble flipping him for a high Day 3 draft pick if a team comes calling about a pass-catching tight end.
QB Jarrett Stidham
Quarterback Jarrett Stidham has a limited resume—he appeared in just eight games in three seasons with the Patriots—but could still be attractive to a team without a quality backup. He was a fourth-round draft pick of New England in 2019, and for whatever reason, teams seem infatuated with former Tom Brady understudies.
Matt Cassel, Brian Hoyer, Jacoby Brissett and Jimmy Garoppolo have all been given starting opportunities in the NFL after backing up Brady.
The Raiders, meanwhile, added a quality backup behind Derek Carr when they signed Nick Mullens this offseason. The former Southern Mississippi standout has made 17 starts in the NFL and holds a respectable 87.3 passer rating.
If Carr missed a game or two in 2022, Mullens can play well enough to keep the Raiders in the playoff race. Of course, Carr has rarely missed time. He suffered a fractured fibula in 2016 and has still missed only three total games (including playoffs) since being drafted in 2014.
Given Carr's history of durability, Las Vegas may not be inclined to keep more than two quarterbacks on its active roster this season. If that's the case, flipping Stidham for a late pick would make a ton of sense.
A sixth- or seventh-round selection isn't going to change the course of the franchise, but it's solid value for a signal-caller who may be destined for the practice squad—and thus eligible to be signed by another team—anyway.