The Las Vegas Raiders have some big decisions to make as the trade deadline approaches. They are currently 2-4 and have a long way to go to get back into the playoff picture.
The Raiders’ former second-round cornerback and Super Bowl champion has been acquired in a trade
The team did trade former starting defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins for a draft pick recently, but he hasn’t seen much action this season.
The Raiders would be wise to assess their talent this season before going all-in on the playoffs.
With Nate Hobbs on injured reserve, cornerback is a major concern. Although Anthony Averett had only recently returned from injury, he allowed two touchdowns in coverage against the Houston Texans in Week 7.
Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine believes Seattle Seahawks cornerback Sidney Jones IV would be a good fit in Las Vegas:
“If the Raiders have any hope of clawing their way back into the playoff race, they need reinforcements in the secondary. Fortunately, Sidney Jones IV could help, and the Seahawks should be willing to deal him. The 26-year-old has only played 45 defensive snaps this season.”
“His exclusion from the Seahawks lineup is interesting because he only allowed a passer rating of 84.3 last season. That’s a skill set the Raiders could use right now.”
- Duron Harmon: “The Raiders are Better at Man Than Zone.”
The Raiders’ secondary has been the weakest link on defense, and the lack of pass rush hasn’t helped. Former defensive coordinator Gus Bradley almost exclusively used zone coverage last season.
The Raiders use man coverage on 31.1 percent of dropbacks under Patrick Graham.
According to safety Duron Harmon, the team is currently much better at man coverage and is still figuring out zone coverage.
“We have some really good man-to-man players, but in this league you gotta be able to play both,” Harmon said, via The Athletic. “We’re gonna need zone as well, so we need to pick that up and be better on that so that we can have the flexibility to go back and forth between both.”
Graham should perhaps try to stick to his defense’s strengths until they can demonstrate they can play better zone coverage.
- Jones is unlikely to be expensive in a trade
Jones was drafted in the second round by the Philadelphia Eagles and won a Super Bowl ring as a rookie. Later, he was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars before joining the Seahawks last season.
He appeared in 11 games for the team last season but has dropped out of the starting lineup this year.
Sidney Jones said NOPE!pic.twitter.com/zDv4DANQht
— PFF (@PFF) December 23, 2019
It won’t take much for the Raiders to make a trade for Jones. In fact, with Tre Brown returning from injury for Seattle, he could be released outright. The Raiders could throw a seventh-round pick to the Seahawks to ensure they get Jones, but he’s not worth more than a sixth-round pick. He might be a better fit for a Raiders defense that uses more man coverage after leaving a zone-heavy Seahawks defense.