ALAMEDA – The NFL trade deadline is coming up fast. It hits at 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday, marking the final moments 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 now did a 27-24 loss to Houston 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 may be more pressing, but that might get solved by signing a street free agent (or two) as the Raiders try to survive until Marquel Lee's eligible to come off injured reserve after Week 12.
They could use help off the edge, and maybe at receiver, though finally adding a healthy Tyrell Williams and two trade additions in Zay Jones and Trevor Davis improves that position group significantly.
Head 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 buy or sell 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 a longer term.
It takes two teams to make a deal, and some on the lower rungs are reportedly playing hard to get with better prospects and veterans seemingly on the block. The Raiders have exercised discipline in those scenarios recently and it's prudent to do again with the trading 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."