Is It Time for Derrick Burgess to Be Traded by the Oakland Raiders?

Ramone BrownSenior Writer IJune 26, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 3: Derrick Burgess #56 of the Oakland Raiders reacts after a play during the game against the Houston Texans on December 3, 2006 at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Derrick Burgess is a former Pro Bowler and former NFL sack leader, but many speculate his days in Oakland are numbered. This is especially true after the emergence of young pass rusher Trevor Scott and signing of veteran pass rusher Greg Ellis. Not to mention the Raiders drafted a couple more D-ends in this year's draft: Matt Shaughnessy and Stryker Sulak.

As it stands right now, the D-end position for the Oakland Raiders is becoming pretty crowded. Players, namely Burgess, are beginning to look expendable.

To make things even worse for him, the Raiders can afford to part ways with a pass rusher. It's arguably not one of the team's weaknesses. Last year they ranked 13th in sacks with teams rarely throwing against them.

Recent rumors arose of the team shopping around players including Burgess, but Raider officials have done nothing but deny any interest in trading him.

Whether or not the team has been in negotiations with other teams regarding Burgess, now is the time—especially now that premier pass rushers like Ellis, Jason Taylor, and Julius Peppers are off the market. 

Value for pass rushers is now at an offseason high, and there should be many interested parties.

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One team desperately in need of a pass rusher is the Kansas City Chiefs. Though I doubt the Raiders would deal with a division rival, the Chiefs ranked dead last in sacks last year with a dismal 10, barely cracking double digits.

Another candidate who has been rumored to have interest in Burgess is the New England Patriots.

Last year they were tied at 14th in sacks with 31, one fewer than the Raiders' total. 

They were allegedly in the hunt for Peppers to play OLB as a pass rusher. Now with his $16 million-plus franchise tender signing, that door seems closed. 

Though fairly unsuccessful, Burgess has experience playing the 3-4 OLB position. In a defense other than one of Rob Ryan's vanilla schemes, he is likely to perform better.

The next likely candidate is the Cleveland Browns, who were tied at 31st in sacks with only 17. The defense is currently being coached by former Raider DC Rob Ryan, and a history between Ryan and Burgess may have pull in a trade. Also, seemingly happy now DT Shaun Rogers requested a trade earlier this offseason.

Next are the Cincinnati Bengals, tied with the Browns with a measly 17 sacks. Many would argue they drafted their future pass rusher in the third round with DE Michael Johnson, but the tandem of rookie and veteran would strike fear in many QBs.

Next are the Green Bay Packers. Last year they ranked 25th in the league with 27 sacks, and they are currently transitioning to the 3-4 from a 4-3 (with Aaron Kampman making the transition from DE to OLB). Burgess can be plugged in the rotation or played opposite Kampman. The Packers have an impressive offense but struggled (only winning six games) last year due to the defense.

There are other teams who may be interested, but these were the most likely in my opinion. Other pass rush-challenged teams that may be interested include the Washington Redskins, (T)28th with 24; Buffalo Bills (T), 28th with 24; Houston Texans, 27th with 25; NO Saints, 22nd with 28; and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars, tied at 20th with 29.

Rumored values on Burgess range anywhere from a second to a fourth rounder, though I suspect the Raiders would be interested in package deals, especially if they include a DT or SOLB.