Raiders' top-3 trade candidates floated by Bleacher Report

Which current Raiders could be traded before the season?
Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders
Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders / Ryan Kang/GettyImages
1 of 3

With no offseason programs or games taking place, the dog days of the NFL season are dragging on. Media outlets can only produce content about hypotheticals due to a lack of action, and Bleacher Report joined in on the fun this week. 

With the $34.1 million we have remaining in cap space, Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report thinks that the team may not be done making roster changes, so he chose three players on the Raiders current roster that he believes could be traded and why. 

Malcolm Koonce

The first name on the list of trade candidates was defensive end Malcolm Koonce. Knox doesn't believe the Raiders would want to trade Koonce, but they could take advantage of his value coming off a breakout season.

“Realistically, the Raiders would much rather extend defensive end Malcolm Koonce than trade him," Knox wrote. "The 26-year-old emerged as a strong complement to star pass-rusher Maxx Crosby this past season and deserves to have a future with the franchise.

"Koonce finished the 2023 season with nine tackles for loss, eight sacks and quarterback pressures. If Las Vegas is looking to make a splash trade, however, Koonce might just be its top realistic bargaining chip."

While it is true that Koonce is entering a contract year and could be a free agent after the season, I would be willing to bet that the Raiders make him a priority extension with the aforementioned $34.1 million in cap space. What happened with the Josh Jacobs saga was not ideal, as they lost one of the best backs in the league and received no compensation for it. Obviously, if Malcolm Koonce were to walk in free agency next season, some fans would be frustrated that we were not able to get a pick or a player in return for him. However, I think most Raiders fans would be even more frustrated not having him on the roster this season. 

Koonce, as they mentioned, recorded 8.0 sacks in 2023, but what is even more impressive is that he accomplished all of that in the final nine games of the season when Antonio Pierce took over as head coach. This means that he will likely not be traded for two reasons: One, I am sure that the team is eager to see what the former third-round pick can do in a full season as a starter.

Second, his sudden surge in playing time means that AP believes in him, and that might matter most of all. Tom Telesco and AP seem to have a great relationship thus far and I doubt that Telesco would perform a trade like this and sabotage it. Unless teams are knocking on the door and offering unbelievable trade packages, I doubt Koonce is moved. He is just scratching the surface of his potential and he should be extended to play alongside Maxx, Christian Wilkins and Tyree Wilson for years to come.