If the Oakland Raiders want to truly cement themselves as playoff contenders, they’ll likely have to make a trade for a true No. 1 wide receiver.
After the Raiders pulled off a convincing 24-21 victory over the Chicago Bears overseas in London, the talk regarding Oakland being real contenders has come to fruition. While the Raiders are 3-2 and in the driver’s seat for a playoff spot — they have a 23.6 percent chance to make the playoffs according to ESPN — they have one major weakness, which is the lack of a true star receiver.
While Oakland was able to pull off the victory over Chicago without starting receivers Tyrell Williams and J.J. Nelson, the Raiders desperately need targets for Derek Carr in the passing game if they’re going to keep up with the likes of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West division.
Raiders Could Acquire Stefon Diggs via Trade
According to ESPN’s Bill Barnwell, the Raiders could be in play for Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who has been involved in trade talks after missing meetings and practices leading into Week 5.
“The Raiders need help at wide receiver, especially given that Tyrell Williams and J.J. Nelson were both unable to play against the Bears in London. With the Raiders winning and the Chiefs and Chargers both losing, Oakland now has a 23.6% shot of making the playoffs this season. I don’t know if I’d sell out my future to try to make it to the postseason one last time in the Bay Area, but Diggs is a player who can theoretically help now and help after the move to Las Vegas, too.”
Barnwell warns that the Vikings likely are not inclined to make a trade involving Diggs considering he’s their top receiver and factoring in that they are still Super Bowl contenders despite their clear flaws at the quarterback position (Kirk Cousins).
The Raiders have two first-round draft picks for the 2020 NFL Draft, one of which came courtesy of the Khalil Mack trade. Barnwell proposes a trade situation involving the likes of the Raiders, Vikings and Miami Dolphins.
In this proposed three-team trade, all three teams would get what they want. The Raiders would get Diggs, the Vikings would find an adequate replacement by acquiring Dolphins receiver DeVante Parker and the Dolphins would get what they want — draft capital to continue rebuilding.
The Proposed Three-Team Trade
- Oakland Raiders get Diggs from the Vikings and a 2020 sixth-round pick from Dolphins
- Minnesota Vikings get DeVante Parker from the Dolphins and the lesser of 2020 first-round picks from the Raiders
- Miami Dolphins get 2020 fourth-round picks from both the Vikings and Raiders
The Raiders’ recent win over the Bears will overshadow a lackluster passing performance which saw Carr throw zero touchdowns and just 229 yards on 32 attempts. No Raiders receiver produced more than 46 receiving yards and the team’s leading pass-catcher was Foster Moreau — the rookie fourth-round draft selection and second-string tight end.
Oakland may be good enough to be in the playoff race for now, but if they actually want to cement a spot in what is quickly appearing to be a tough AFC playoff race, they’re going to have to acquire some wideout via trade — whether that’s Diggs or another receiver.
The NFL trade deadline is on Oct. 29 after Week 8’s slate of games.