Just before the 2022 NFL Draft, the Las Vegas Raiders made news when they revealed that they wouldn’t be picking up the fifth-year options of any of the three first-round picks from the 2019 class. That means Clelin Ferrell, Josh Jacobs and Johnathan Abram are entering the final years of their contracts. That decision from the Raiders showed that the future of all three players could be in doubt.
It’s even possible that all three of them aren’t on the roster when this upcoming season starts. Ferrell was the first pick in the class as the No. 4 overall pick in 2019. He’s had trouble finding a consistent role on the team but that could change under new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. However, Bleacher Report believes the Raiders should consider trading Ferrell and pursue a cheaper option in free agency.
Ferrell is the only logical option as a third pass-rusher on the roster, but there are plenty of veterans still on the market that could come in on cheaper contracts. Jerry Hughes, Justin Houston and Trey Flowers are all pass-rushers with the upside to be more productive in Ferrell’s role.
Finding a trade partner might be difficult unless the Raiders are willing to pay part of his guaranteed salary. However, his draft stock and glimpses of upside might be enough for a team to part with a pick for him.
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Dave Ziegler Has Been Willing to Make Trades
During Mike Mayock’s recent stint as the Raiders’ general manager, the team didn’t make many trades. In Dave Ziegler’s recent time as general manager, he’s already made several notable trades. The past week saw the Raiders trade for quarterback Jarrett Stidham and trade away wide receiver Bryan Edwards.
Considering he has no loyalty to any player who was on the roster before he got there, almost anybody could be traded. If Ziegler can find a trade that makes sense for Ferrell, it’s certainly possible he’ll do it.
Why Raiders Shouldn’t Trade Ferrell
At this point, trading Ferrell is unnecessary. It’s difficult to see the Raiders getting anything more than a late-round pick for the former top-five draft pick. Graham is known as a coach who can get the best out of his players. Why not see what he can do with the former Clemson star?
Ferrell will never likely be the great pass rusher the Raiders hoped he would be but he’s shown signs that he can do well against the run. The team doesn’t really need him to be a great pass rusher with Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones on the roster. Crosby is good against the run but Jones isn’t at this point in his career. Plus, the Raiders will need defensive ends to play in 3-4 sets with Jones and Crosby at outside linebacker. Ferrell would be the most logical option to be one of those defensive ends as the Raiders didn’t add any big names this offseason. Unless Ziegler finds a defensive end in free agency that he likes more, he should give Ferrell one more year under Graham to see what he can do.