Jon Gruden Explains How Raiders Plan to Approach NFL Trade Deadline

ALAMEDA -- The NFL trade deadline is coming up fast. It hits at 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday, marking the final time teams can wheel and deal during the season.

The Raiders have done plenty of that, making three trades to this point. Will they make another before the Tuesday deadline? Will they buy or sell, and how did a 27-24 loss to the Houston Texans factor into those decisions? Time will tell on that front.

They certainly need help at several positions, though those haven't changed much in recent weeks. Linebacker needs might be more pressing, but that might get solved by signing a free agent (or two) off the street as the Raiders try to survive until Marquel Lee's eligible to come off injured reserve after Week 12.

The Raiders could use help off the edge, and maybe at receiver, though finally adding a healthy Tyrell Williams and two trade acquisitions in Zay Jones and Trevor Davis improves that position group significantly.

Coach Jon Gruden said Monday that the Raiders will be active in the market but rational in their approach to making another deal.

"How are we approaching it? Realistic," Gruden said. "You don't just turn on the NFL Network and listen to all the rumors and believe they're all possibly achievable. We're listening to the phone and we're making calls. We're seeing who's really available and what the price tag is."

Gruden didn't lean towards buying or selling and, to his point, it's all about the deal on the table at the time. Raiders activity or lack thereof -- and whom they get -- will say something about the state of the team and whether they'll push to add someone to help right away or for the long-term.

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It takes two teams to make a deal, and some on the NFL's lower rungs reportedly are playing hard to get with better prospects and seemingly putting veterans on the block. The Raiders have exercised discipline in those scenarios recently, and it's prudent to do so again with the trade deadline rapidly encroaching.

"When you do make a trade, you inherit the contract and the ramifications of that," Gruden said. "Some of these guys are going in on the last year of their contract, that's why they're being shopped. When you do make a trade, you inherit the responsibility of paying the players. Sometimes that's a decision that's tough to weigh. Then you have to decide how much you want to give up. Do you want to give up your draft picks?

"But we've made three trades. We got Trevor in here, we got Zay Jones in here and we traded Gareon [Conley] to get a third-round pick. We have been pretty active compared to other teams."

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