Raiders Trade for Raekwon McMillan; Dolphins Receive 2021 Draft Pick

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 29, 2020

Miami Dolphins middle linebacker Raekwon McMillan (52) lines up against the Cleveland Browns during an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019, in Cleveland. The Browns won the game 41-24. (Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)
Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

The Las Vegas Raiders completed a trade for Miami Dolphins linebacker Raekwon McMillan on Saturday.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Dolphins will send McMillan and a 2021 fifth-round draft pick to the Raiders for a 2021 fourth-round draft pick.

Dolphins head coach Brian Flores later confirmed the deal.

The 24-year-old McMillan was a second-round pick of the Dolphins in the 2017 NFL draft out of Ohio State, and he has started 28 of the 29 games he has appeared in over the past two years.

McMillan missed his entire rookie season in 2017 with a torn ACL, but it didn't take him long to seize the starting middle linebacker job in 2018. McMillan finished that season with 105 tackles, five tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in 16 games.

Although McMillan missed three games last season, he still finished with a solid stat line, as he recorded 72 tackles and three tackles for loss.

McMillan is set to enter the final year of his rookie contract in 2020, and Miami's decision to trade him suggests the organization was either unable or unwilling to sign him to an extension.

Acquiring a talented linebacker who is just a few years removed from being a second-round pick is a logical move on the Raiders' part since it can be argued that linebacker is the weakest position on their roster.

Cory Littleton is a clear starter at outside linebacker, while Nick Kwiatkoski and Nicholas Morrow are penciled in at the middle and outside spots, respectively. McMillan has more starting experience than both Kwiatkoski and Morrow, and he has a chance to supplant either of them in Vegas, although Morrow is the likeliest candidate to go to the bench.

Meanwhile, the Dolphins will likely turn to some combination of 2018 third-round pick Jerome Baker and free-agent acquisitions Elandon Roberts and Kamu Grugier-Hill at their two inside linebacker spots.

Given the fact that Flores coached Roberts while he was the defensive coordinator with the New England Patriots, it stands to reason that he wanted to clear the way for more playing time for a player he is familiar with.

The Miami defense has undergone a significant transformation this offseason with the acquisition of Shaq Lawson, Roberts, Grugier-Hill, Kyle Van Noy and Byron Jones, and shipping out McMillan two weeks before the start of the season ensures that the Dolphins defense will have even more of a different look in 2020.