Las Vegas Raiders: Yannick Ngakoue and three other trades to make before 2020 season.
Just two years after the Oakland Raiders traded Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears for a king’s ransom of draft choices, could the Las Vegas Raiders potentially make a big move for a pass rusher?
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, that is a possibility at this point.
The Raiders are apparently one of a few teams monitoring the Yannick Ngakoue trade market, even though the Jaguars have been adamant about not moving him if the value in a trade isn’t there.
Ngakoue is not an easy player to trade because the Jaguars are asking for a lot in return, and not only will the 25-year old pass rusher come with a hefty price tag in terms of draft compensation, but his $17.788 million franchise tag (fully guaranteed) will come with him.
Oh, and to top it all off, Ngakoue wants a new deal wherever he’s going. Teams aren’t lining up to trade for a guy to just pay him $100 million or more over the next four or five years, especially with some future salary cap issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But the Raiders are lingering here and for good reason. They had a nice rookie breakout last year from mid-round pick Maxx Crosby. They, unfortunately, didn’t get the same from their top pick Clelin Ferrell, who had just 4.5 sacks and 15 pressures in 15 games compared to Crosby’s 10 sacks and 31 pressures.
Even though the Raiders are not giving up on Ferrell, by any means, they could certainly upgrade their pass rush rotation off the edge substantially by bringing in Ngakoue, who has 17.5 sacks and 78 total pressures over the last two seasons.
If the price tag is only a second-round pick to get him, why not give that a shot?
The Raiders are competing first and foremost in their own division with the Kansas City Chiefs, the reigning Super Bowl champions with nearly their entire starting lineup returning for the 2020 season.
You have to have as many weapons defensively as you can possibly get to compete with those guys, and Ngakoue helps the Raiders’ case.
Even though East Coast teams have been the more strongly rumored destinations for Ngakoue (Ravens, Jets, even Steelers), the Raiders make plenty of logical sense both in terms of the draft compensation and their need for a boost in the pass rush department.
What other trades could the Raiders look to make before the 2020 season?
Let’s take a look through three other moves besides adding Ngakoue that could help the Raiders get back into legitimate contention with the Chiefs for 2020.