The Las Vegas Raiders figure to be big players in free agency, but there hasn’t been a lot of talk involving the trade market. The team has been burned on their last few trades, so it makes sense why they would be apprehensive to make them. However, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Raiders are shopping offensive guard Gabe Jackson.
Drafted by the Raiders in 2014, Jackson has started in 83 of the 84 games he’s played with the team. Before the 2017 season, the team signed him to a hefty contract extension and considering he’s dealt with injuries since Jon Gruden joined the team, he could be on his way out. Gruden likes Jackson, but he likes players who are available more.
Jackson is a good player who will probably start no matter where he goes next season. His price tag could just be a little more than the Raiders are willing to pay.
Keep an Eye on Ravens After Marshal Yanda Retirement
A leak of the Raiders having an interest in trading Jackson sure came at an interesting time. Multi-time Pro Bowler for the Baltimore Ravens Marshal Yanda announced his retirement on Tuesday. The Ravens won’t want to fall off after their impressive 2019 season, but Yanda was one of their most important players. They should definitely be reaching out to the Raiders about Jackson.
He’s not at the same level that Yanda was, but he’s a strong starter and a Pro Bowl-level talent when he’s fully healthy. They play the same position, so it’d be an easy transition for Jackson. Now, it remains to be seen how much Las Vegas thinks they can get for Jackson. Considering offensive line is becoming more and more valuable in the NFL, he could be had for a third-round pick. However, factoring in his injury history and big contract, that could drop his value. Perhaps a fourth or fifth-round pick gets it done.
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Who Would Replace Jackson on the Ol?
The most obvious replacement for Jackson on the Raiders’ offensive line would be Denzelle Good, who the team gave a contract extension to early in the offseason. He was solid in relief of Jackson early in the season and the team clearly likes him. He’s also a lot cheaper.
Good would be the easy favorite for the job, but you can’t count out Andre James. He filled in well as the backup center when Rodney Hudson got hurt. It’s unlikely Hudson gets hurt a lot in the future, so James may not have much of a future as a backup center for the Raiders. They could try him out at right guard in the offseason and like what they see. It’s hard to imagine he’ll beat out Good, but he does have a lot of upside. The team could also find an option in the draft or free agency. Armed with three third-round picks, the Raiders could find a sleeper to replace Jackson.