Raiders Trade Rumors: Oakland Targeting LBs, Pass Rush at 2019 NFL Deadline

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 20, 2019

Oakland Raiders' head coach Jon Gruden attends a press conference after a practice session at the Grove Hotel in Chandler's Cross, Watford, England, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. The Oakland Raiders are preparing for an NFL regular season game against the Chicago Bears in London on Sunday. (AP Photo/Leila Coker)
Leila Coker/Associated Press

The Oakland Raiders are 3-2 and looking to upgrade with the AFC West suddenly wide-open.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Raiders will be buyers before the trade deadline and have already contacted teams about adding linebackers and pass-rushing help.

Oakland needs depth at linebacker with starter Vontaze Burfict suspended for the remainder of the year. The pass-rushing help is also a major need with just nine sacks on the season, fifth-worth in the NFL.

This has been a consistent problem for the Raiders since trading away Khalil Mack. The team finished dead last in the NFL with 13 sacks in 2018, less than half of anyone else in the league.

Adding a reliable pass-rusher would go a long way in solidifying a defense that entered Sunday allowing a 103.9 quarterback rating from opposing passers. 

Of course, the Raiders are in much better shape overall than they were a few weeks ago.

The squad had modest expectations coming into the season after producing a 4-12 record last year, while the 1-2 start to this year didn't surprise too many people.

However, Oakland won two games in a row going into last week's bye while fellow AFC West contenders Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Chargers have struggled mightily with a combined 4-9 record so far this year.

The Kansas City Chiefs have been the division favorite, but there are question marks about the 5-2 team going forward after Patrick Mahomes went down with a knee injury. Even if he returns in three weeks, as Schefter reported, it could leave an opening for the Raiders to compete in the division.

This likely helped the squad decide to be buyers rather than sellers or even stay put before the upcoming trade deadline.

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