Maxx Crosby is one of the game's most consistently disruptive pass-rushers, but the Las Vegas Raiders are are in need of a complementary piece and reportedly in the market for help at the position.
According to a report from Dianna Russini of The Athletic, the Raiders are actively looking for pass-rush help, in the aftermath of releasing Chandler Jones. Russini points out that the Raiders would prefer a player-for-player swap.
Despite Crosby's 5.0 sacks and 34 total pressures through the season's first five weeks, Las Vegas ranks 12th against the pass, allowing 197.2 yards per game but just 27th in sacks, with 9.0, as a team.
After knocking off the Green Bay Packers on Monday night, it might make sense for the Raiders to be buyers ahead of the trade deadline later this month in hopes of making an AFC Wild Card push.
Here's a look at some of the Raiders' best fits, and top potential targets to bolster the pass rush, as the trade deadline looms:
Frank Clark, Denver Broncos
It might seem like a stretch, on the surface, that the Broncos would consider trading Clark within the division, but, if Denver plans a full-fledged defensive tear-down perhaps George Paton would consider it.
Clark, 30, has been sidelined since suffering a hip flexor injury back in Week 2, and has only appeared in 27 pass-rush snaps this season, as a result.
However, Clark is a three-time Pro Bowler, produced 7.5 combined sacks during the 2022 regular season and playoffs while adding 17 quarterback hits over that span and has a pair of Super Bowl rings on his fingers.
Derek Barnett, Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles' loaded defensive line has kept Barnett off the field, and that doesn't appear to be changing anytime soon.
Back in July, Barnett and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, officially requested a trade after restructuring his contract to reduce his guarantee for the 2023 season to just $3.5 million.
Barnett has never quite lived up to his first-round billing, with just 21.5 sacks through his first five-plus seasons. Additionally, Barnett suffered a torn ACL last season that has limited him through the first month of the 2023 campaign. However, landing in a new situation with the opportunity to work his way towards the top of the pass-rush rotation could unlock his potential, at age 27.
Yetur Gross-Matos, Carolina Panthers
If the Raiders are truly looking for a player-for-player swap, and a pass-rusher with long-term upside, the Panthers and Yetur Gross-Matos might be an ideal match.
Gross-Matos is in the final year of his contract, and is playing well, with 2.5 sacks this season despite being in a rotational role behind Brian Burns and Justin Houston. The former Penn State standout, and second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, has produced 2.5 sacks this season with nine more quarterback pressures.
Carolina has reportedly been in the market for a No. 1 wide receiver, and while it would appear unlikely on the surface that Las Vegas would deal Davante Adams to the Panthers, perhaps a Gross-Matos for Hunter Renfrow or Jakobi Meyers swap could be in the offing.
Bryce Huff, New York Jets
Huff might be the most realistic option for the Raiders to add, midseason.
Because pass-rushers are a premium position and teams will likely be reluctant to part with players they believe can play a vital role on their defense, the Raiders may need to scour for players buried on depth charts on the last year of their contracts.
Huff is playing on a one-year deal with the Jets, and New York would shave approximately $4.3 million in cap space by trading him.
So far this season, Huff has produced one sack and 26 quarterback pressures. Given that the Jets Jermaine Johnson, Carl Lawson, rookie Will McDonald and veteran John Franklin-Myers along the defensive line, general manager Joe Douglas might be inclined to move the 25-year-old in order to add an asset to keep building out the roster.
Zaven Collins, Arizona Cardinals
Zaven Collins is in the midst of the most dominant start to a season in his career, and the Cardinals might need to decide whether they view him as a building block at the position, worth extending, or as a player they could move in a trade to add a young player or draft pick to build around.
If general manager Monti Ossenfort decides it's the latter, Collins could walk into the Raiders' lineup as an immediate high-end starter caliber player.
Through the first five games of this season, Collins has produced three sacks with five quarterback pressures. Collins' versatility as an off-ball linebacker and with the ability to put his hand in the dirt as a traditional pass-rusher would make him an attractive option for the Raiders, or several other teams, if the Cardinals are looking to move on.
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